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Assistant in Boots. Is he right about this?

(33 Posts)
Janey50 Wed 22-Mar-17 01:50:49

I am on a low income but don't automatically qualify for free prescriptions and dental treatment aa I am not in receipt of the benefits that make you eligible. A friend of my DD's said to ask in a pharmacy for a health care costs certificate application form,which could get me help with prescription costs and dental treatment. I asked an assistant in the pharmacy department in a large Boots chemist for a form. He told me I would need to ask my doctor to provide it. When I said I was told that I could pick one up in a pharmacy,he said that I needed my doctor to confirm that I was in receipt of the drugs that meant I could get free prescriptions. I was getting confused by now and said that I wanted the form for a certificate for people on a low income. He said 'There is no such thing. There is only a certificate for people who have certain drugs, such as thyroid or diabetes drugs to show they can get all their prescriptions free'. Is this right? Or has he got his facts wrong? Or have I misunderstood something?

Butterymuffin Wed 22-Mar-17 01:53:49

Is this the one? If so you can get a copy of the form online.

www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcosts/Pages/nhs-low-income-scheme.aspx

Janey50 Wed 22-Mar-17 01:58:46

Yes I think that must be it! Thank you for your swift response. Why on earth did he tell me that there was 'no such thing'? How odd.

Butterymuffin Wed 22-Mar-17 02:15:19

He sounds like one of those annoying people who if they don't know about something, will just say it doesn't exist rather than admit they might not know. Not great for someone in that job really. Anyway, let's hope you can get it. smile

Janey50 Wed 22-Mar-17 02:22:26

Yes that same thought did cross my mind. If you don't know about something,just deny it exists! That'll do the trick. grin

TesticlesInTheBlender Wed 22-Mar-17 04:18:43

I think he was confusing a medical exemption card - this is for people with certain medical conditions. What you wanted was a form for a HC2 - this helps people who are on a low income with health costs.

footphobic Wed 22-Mar-17 04:29:36

The assistant must have been getting confused with an exempt conditions certificate.

I've just helped dd1 get this help, she's a uni student and has a medical condition which makes working difficult. She also needs lots of prescriptions for meds, so quite costly and a prescription for specs.

It is an HC1 form and can be downloaded online. We then sent hers in by post and she received it back having been awarded help with costs after about 3 weeks. Not sure how relevant her medical condition was to the decision, our pharmacist seemed to imply that many uni students would be eligible if they knew to apply.

They last a year, she could've got one last year but we only found out recently too.

footphobic Wed 22-Mar-17 04:32:49

Cross posted there, but the form we did for dd was definitely a HC1.

Nanna50 Wed 22-Mar-17 04:51:44

It is an HC1 form that you need which can be accessed online, it is usually stocked in dentists or opticians but not pharmacy's for some strange reason so Boots do not routinely have them.

However I think the assistants attitude is quite common these days that if they don't know about something, then its not happening, doesn't exist or isn't in stock, rather than ... let me see if I can help and find out for you.

PeanutButterLips Wed 22-Mar-17 04:52:58

I managed to pick up a HC1 form from my local pharmacy, this is what your friend was talking about.

TesticlesInTheBlender Wed 22-Mar-17 04:54:58

It's a HC1 form - you are then issues with a HC2 certificate.

TesticlesInTheBlender Wed 22-Mar-17 04:55:24

Issuesd not issues!

highinthesky Wed 22-Mar-17 05:29:19

Testicles is spot on.

And yes the attitude is annoying but hell what do you expect from someone on minimum wage? Boots counter assistants are trained only on the advice they can give and the younger ones sometimes don't appreciate they are part of the system and not it's entirety.

You may have got better advice and a lot less attitude from an independent pharmacy.

lemontoast Wed 22-Mar-17 05:57:25

high
Being on min wage has nothing to do with it. Unless you believe allrecipients of it are uneducated.
The next person op asked might have been better informed.
What she encountered was a ' know it all'
You get those on high salaries too! wink

highinthesky Wed 22-Mar-17 06:02:44

Actually pharmacy counter assistants do go through a great deal of training, despite being paid poorly, and most are good at what they do. Its not an unskilled role, and its partly that that gives them the attitude that they are correct.

There's no concept that there may be anything they don't know when it comes to fielding customer queries.

Oldsu Wed 22-Mar-17 07:22:10

high this is the training and info that a pharmacy assistant should get

www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Documents/pod_guide.pdf

Yes there should be no excuse for a pharmacy assistant to say there are no exemptions for low paid workers even if they don't have the forms on hand, although my friend got one from boots

BeyondThePage Wed 22-Mar-17 07:40:59

I work in a pharmacy, we do not hold the forms, but would have pointed the OP to the online services of the NHS.

I joined 6 months ago, have done the National Pharmacy Association training and I have never seen that training document shown above.

Strange the preconceptions about pharmacy assistants.

I am not on minimum wage, I have completed a nationally accredited training course, I am well educated, I am polite and point people to the resources they can use to help themselves.

There are many things I do not know and I have the support of a team of experienced dispensers and a pharmacist to call on in those instances.

TesticlesInTheBlender Wed 22-Mar-17 07:44:58

Beyond the page - you can order the forms for free from PCSE (the same place you order your EPS tokens from).

nannynick Wed 22-Mar-17 07:52:41

Anyone know what the income limit is for being able to claim? I can see the max savings amount but not up to what income someone is eligible.

This sounds very useful for people who are low paid but not claiming a benefit such as Universal Credit.

lougle Wed 22-Mar-17 08:02:50

The income limit is for people on tax credits is £15, 726.

After that it gets more complicated because they take into account housing costs, etc., when they assess income.

lougle Wed 22-Mar-17 08:05:19

The prepayment scheme is very good value for money if you can afford £10.40 per month. I pay that and get at least 6 prescription items per month, so even if I'm not unwell, I save over £38 per month.

Butterymuffin Wed 22-Mar-17 08:07:23

Agree with lemontoast that you get know it alls of all ages and in all walks of life. I regularly use the pharmacy at a large Boots branch and the staff are great. I have also encountered people on minimum wage who take pride in doing a fine job. It takes all sorts.

8dayweek Wed 22-Mar-17 08:11:16

Not sure about the income threshold but you used to complete the HC1 form and then be either issued a HC2 (full help towards medical costs) or a HC3 (partial help towards medical costs).
Not sure if that's still the case but HC3 were quite difficult sometimes and not worth it - they had a patient contribution, then NHS contribution which would kick if after and often the patient contribution was higher than the cost of the service, like a sight test, and therefore the patient was better to pay "privately" than bother with the HC3. I've no doubt it was still handy for higher cost such a dental treatment though.

StrangeLookingParasite Wed 22-Mar-17 08:17:09

And yes the attitude is annoying but hell what do you expect from someone on minimum wage?

OMG, what a rude (and untrue) thing to say! One idiot doesn't make all of them like that.

user1489261248 Wed 22-Mar-17 08:47:41

I agree. Very rude to say everyone on minimum pay will have a bad attitude!

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