Free prescriptions - secondary lymphoedema

does anyone with secondary lymphoedema have a medical exemption certificate? Although I am signed off by my consultant, I have read the criteria and think I am entitled but my GP doesn't think I am, but still gave me a form to complete! I was advised by NHS to claim for my garments but my GP will need to approve - very confused!

29 Replies

  • Most garments are available on prescription via your treating Lymphoedema clinic, unless they are complicated, in which case they should be VAT exempt if not available on the drug tariff/FP10

  • hi lynora. My garmets used to be free through my local hospice, but as they are now on prescription, my GP issues it but I have to pay £8.40 per stocking and I need to change mine every 2 months. I need to know if I can get exemption for "the effects of cancer", otherwise I'll be paying £33 per month on 4 stockings

  • Have you been registered with a lymphoedema clinic? They should be providing garments. If you are being supplied via your GP practice, you may find a PPC is more appropriate/affordable - prescription prepayment certificate. Can I ask why you need replacement garments so often? My clinic will replace 3 times a year 'if absolutely necessary'!

  • they just don't last, the elasticity goes really quick around the grip top. Used to have haddenham ven dur, but they stocked making them. Finally got Juzo dynamic but they don't last very long.

  • Don' t know why you need garments every two months.I wear four stockings too ,and my clinic at the hospital changed them every six months,which I wa happy with,but now I have been referred back to my gp from the clinic,so don't know what to expect next time I need garments,I have a pre payment card ,I am hoping that should cover them ,otherwise im in trouble,if they charge me ,then I will have to do without as I am a pensioner on basic works pension.

  • Hi, if your getting a pension you should get free NHS prescriptions shouldn't you.

  • Few years off that - early 40s 😃

  • Sorry ezee I meant to reply to galtyboi lol

  • The 'effects of cancer' exemption is for 5 years. There is no consistency throughout the country about provision of garments. My clinic issue the first set on assessment and then it is the responsibility of the GP to provide for life. This is the decision of the local Clinical Commissioning Group. Lymphoedema garments are charged per pair on prescription, not per stocking unless the stockings are different for each leg. However you say you are in Dynamic which is off the shelf and charged per pair so I suggest you talk to your pharmacist and ask them to find the relevant information in the Drug Tariff. There is often confusion with Pharmacists in that British compression is charged per stocking........yours is German. I would also suggest that if stockings are only lasting 2 months you need to speak to Juzo. They are guaranteed for 6 months if you alternate 2 pairs. If in the long run you really do need to change so often, a pre-payment certificate would help if your GP is prepared to issue so many prescriptions in a year. You can apply for a pre-payment certificate on line.

  • thanks. Its all very confusing, no-one tells you the same. I have 4 stockings which I alternate but at the most they last 3/4months. I am very active so maybe this is why they wear out quicker. I was advised by NHS helpline to put an application for an exemption in, but it depends on whether my GP agrees. I have read the extended criteria and it says you can be exempt for compression garment for lymphoedema from cancer, but as I am no longer being treated for cancer, wasn't sure I could still claim.

  • I had cancer 21 years ago and initially got my tights through the LE clinic now I get them through the GPS. Meant to be 4 pairs a year but I get 6 pairs I just said it was necessary. I also have a very active lifestyle and tend to go through the bottom of the heel after about 2 months.... I just mend them. I also buy at least 4 more pairs per year myself. I wear Sigvaris and spoke to them about reinforcing the heel.. I wear socks over them as they are open toed . When you buy them direct they are vat exempt.

    Good luck it's something of a minefield trying to get what you need.

    Happy New Year.

  • I have primary Bilateral lower extremely Lymphoedema. I was told by the chemist I don't qualify for a medical exemption however I got a NHS pre payment certificate 1 year ago (on line application) which has enabled me to save loads of money on prescriptions (garments and other meds). I wear Jobst Elvarex Plus bespoke garments on each leg, they need replacing every 2.5- 3 months.

    Fortunately, my GP is willing to supply as many prescriptions as I need. My local clinic in Surrey does NOT provide the garments/prescriptions - the nurse writes to my GP specifying the garment details and codes for the GP issued prescription. Seems the clinics round the country deal with prescriptions differently.

    Happy New Year!

  • I have secondary lymphoedema and yes you are entitled to free prescriptions. Just ask doctors receptionist for exemption form and fill it in and return to surgery.

    Good luck

  • thank you - going to take it back next week. Fingers crossed!

  • Thank you for all if this information , I currently 4 years into a 5year exemption card as post cancer and I have been wondering about this

  • I was four years in and starting to panic but lymphoedema nurse just signed it last year so I have further five years. I think as long as I have lymphoedema and have to have sleeves I think I should have exemption I am working but my partner is not so I certainly would not be able to afford prescriptions. I am thankful for NHS and would not cope where there is no NHS !

  • well my interpretation is that we should be exempt indefinitely as its not going to go away!

  • I agree 👍👍👍

  • can I ask are none of you on pip or dla x

  • no, work full time

  • Do you just have lymphodema am I being too nosey xx

  • no not too nosey - just lymphoedema due to melanoma!

  • I had skin cancer on the sole of my foot and had it removed years ago just after I had been diagnosed with lupus but didn't have lymphodema them I was just diagnosed with lymphadema a couple of months ago.I had two falls on holiday and they think that's what triggered mine xx

  • Im on dla x

  • Check eligibility for PIP at Maggies online centres.

    (prob won't open so I'll apologise in advance. )

    Macmillan advice centre is pretty good too.

    The award is not means tested and you can apply whether you work or not.

    I have recently been to a tribunal with an LE patient who won daily care award.

    I have never paid for any of my garments and I started using them in 2004.

    I have secondary LE after Breast Cancer.

    Hope some of that is helpful.

  • I'm 6 years from cancer am all clear but developed lymphodema after a year it is now at a more stable state have my garments changed every 6 months they are fitted made to messure I get free perceptions I tried for pip as my arm kep on swelling with any regular usement but they denied me I work hard at controlling it using any gadget I can and I now get a lot of pain in the hot weather dose any one else

  • Shazp HI sorry you are having problems. While summer here is uncomfortable, the winter (right now) cold has been down right awful for my legs. They have been aching for a month non stop. Rest as much as you can. Wish I had other advise for you. Best of luck

  • I got a form from MacMillan and the breast cancer nurse signed it for me ! As this is a long term condition and my sleeves are on prescription so I get them free !

  • And I work 30 hours a week

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