For a medical service to be exempt from VAT it must generally be performed by a registered health professional or a staff member who is directly supervised by a registered health professional. Pharmacists can also deliver VAT exempt medical services but until recently that exemption did not apply to services delivered by pharmacists’ staff.

To ease the pressure on GP surgeries patients are encouraged to contact their community pharmacy for basic health advice. From 1 May 2023 medical services can be exempt if they are performed by a person who is not a registered health professional but who is directly supervised by a pharmacist.

This change will affect around 14,000 community pharmacies across the country and will mean that some of those businesses may become partially exempt for VAT.