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NHS staff discounts on mobile contracts:
each network's offers

Phone and SIM only NHS discounts

The retailers featured on this page may compensate us when our readers follow links to their websites and make a purchase. More

We rank the NHS staff discounts on EE, Vodafone, O2, Three and other networks, and compare savings on SIM only deals and phone contracts. SIM Sherpa is your trusty guide. Last updated: 17th June 2020.

Where NHS discounts are available

Only three networks offer specific discounts to NHS staff

Vodafone logoVodafone logoEE logo

Only Vodafone, O2 and EE have specific schemes

Unfortunately, we’ve found the availability of dedicated NHS discounts on mobile contracts available across UK networks to actually be quite low. In this article, we rank the networks which do offer savings.

Before signing up to your new mobile contract, it’s worth making sure there aren't better deals available elsewhere, which aren’t specifically meant for NHS staff but are open to the general public.

Generally the networks won't let you combine the NHS discount with their promotional offer prices. Taking your NHS discount off a plan's normal price may still cost you more than the market's best available offer.

Below, we compare the discounts available just for NHS employees and then we consider whether other offers still work out better value.

Useful links: See EE scheme | See Vodafone scheme | See O2 scheme

UK mobile networks with NHS discounts

1st place: EE have the best offer for NHS staff

EE emergency staff discount

20% off for up to 5 people on EE pay monthlyView EE offer

at EE.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Unlimited data offer
Green plus sign Straightforward 20% off eligible plans
Green plus sign Share with 4 relatives or friends
Green plus sign Applies to SIM only, handset and tablet plans

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Can't be used on 5G plans
Red minus sign No combining with other discounts
Red minus sign Doesn't work on PAYG or Flex

Whether you're an existing EE customer or a new one joining, you can register to receive a free unlimited data allowance from now until October 2020 if you've got an NHS email address.

The offer applies to any pay monthly phone plan (phone contract or a SIM only for a phone) but not any of EE's mobile broadband or tablet deals. And it can be combined with EE's standard discount for NHS workers too:

EE will give you a straightforward 20% discount off the regular price of most phone contracts, SIM only plans, tablet and mobile broadband deal - the most generous scheme of any of the networks on this page.

NHS employees can also apply the discount on up to four additional plans for family or friends, as long as you're not trying to combine with an existing Multi Plan Saving or Friends & Family discount.

So if you had a family of five all needing new phone plans, you'd get 20% off each deal which is basically like getting one free.

These SIM plans from EE are our pick of what's available to the general public. Make sure to compare these with what you can get through the NHS discount scheme:

To view the EE plans which are currently eligible for the emergency service staff discount, you first have to register online with a valid work email or employee ID.

As EE are typically among the most expensive networks, we highly recommend that you compare the discounted deal against all plans available in the UK to ensure you're actually saving any money.

If you check EE's coverage and find that it's definitely the right network for your location, make sure to check prices for Virgin, Plusnet and BT Mobile who also use EE's 4G and 3G signal.

Useful link: How to get EE's NHS discount

Our ranking:
1st

Discount on:
Selected SIM only, tablet and handset plans

How many plans?
Up to 5 total

Easy to redeem?
Simple online registration with an NHS email

2nd: Vodafone have the next best NHS discount scheme

Vodafone NHS discount scheme

NHS staff save on SIM only and phone contractsSee full details

at vodafone.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Discount on SIMs, tablets and phones
Green plus sign Easy online registration
Green plus sign Share with a relative or friend

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Membership fee
Red minus sign Expensive plans

Vodafone also have decent headline discounts for NHS staff members but it’s worth pointing out that, like EE, they are typically among the more expensive providers in the first place.

On top of their higher plan prices, you'll also need to factor in a one-off £10 membership fee per contract when you compare Vodafone's options with other UK networks.

These SIM deals from Vodafone are our favourites from what's currently available to new customers:

Under their ‘Advantage NHS scheme’, you’ll qualify for 15% off a pay monthly SIM only plan or 15% off a contract phone. You can also add one additional contract for a friend or family member who’ll benefit from the same savings.

Claiming your discount is relatively straightforward and can be done entirely online:

Green one Buy your phone or SIM only via the regular Vodafone.co.uk website for full price

Green one Within 30 days, fill in this online discount claim form (you’ll need your NHS email address)

Green one Verify your claim by following the link sent to your NHS email address

If you check Vodafone's coverage and decide it's best for you, it's worth comparing your deal with VOXI's prices. They use the same network plus have flexible rolling contracts and unlimited social media data.

Useful link: How to get Vodafone's NHS discount

Our ranking:
2nd

Discount on:
SIM only, tablet and handset plans

How many plans?
Up to 2 total

Easy to redeem?
Simple online registration with an NHS email

3rd: O2 have NHS employee discounts on phones only

O2 Open employee perks

Just the airtime portion of the plan is discountedView the options

at o2.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign No membership fee
Green plus sign Direct discount from a major network

What we don't like:
Red minus sign No discount on SIMO
Red minus sign Difficult to calculate actual savings

NHS staff qualify for O2’s employee discount scheme called ‘Open’, which provides a 25% saving on the airtime part of their mobile plans. It’s worth understanding how O2’s phone contracts are structured to see how the saving applies:

O2 Refresh contracts are made up of two payments: one for the cost of your phone (total cost of the device, divided into 24 months) and one for the cost of your airtime (your minutes, texts and data).

The 25% NHS discount applies only to the airtime part. So if your total deal would regularly cost [£10 phone + £10 airtime=£20], your monthly bill will actually become [£10 phone + £7.50 airtime=£17.50].

So, you’ll see that the discount doesn’t ever mean a full 25% off the entire monthly cost. And it only applies on plans with 3GB or above - 1GB plans only get 15% off.

Claiming the discount is also a relatively straightforward process:

Green one Buy your phone via the regular O2.co.uk website for full price

Green two Use your My O2 login details to sign into O2 Open with the NHS employer code NHS01 (you’ll need your NHS email address)

Green three Within 28 days of the start of your contract, verify your claim by following the link sent to your NHS email address. Make sure to log in again to O2 Open and add your discount before the deadline.

If you're sure O2's network coverage is ideal for your usage, compare prices with Sky Mobile, giffgaff and Tesco Mobile. They're nearly always cheaper and you'll get the same coverage.

Useful links: O2’s own scheme info page | O2 Open scheme FAQs | Terms and conditions

Our ranking:
3rd

Discount on:
Airtime part of handset plans only

How many plans?
Just one

Easy to redeem?
Fairly simple online process

4th: iD Mobile will give you unlimited data until October

iD Mobile NHS offer

Unlimited data until 9th OctoberSee full offer

at idmobile.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Starting in June 2020, iD Mobile are offering to boost all SIM only and mobile plans up to unlimited minutes, texts and data for all NHS workers as a thank you for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

It's especially valuable as you can join on a tariff as low as £3.99 per month and get unlimited allowances until the offer ends. And all their deals are all on short 1‑month contracts so you don't have to commit long term.

These SIM deals from iD Mobile are our favourites from what's currently available to new customers:

If you're thinking of joining iD Mobile and know you'll later need a large data allowance, you can choose a low tariff now and easily switch to a larger one when this promotion ends.

Any iD customers with a valid NHS email address just need to fill in the simple registration form to get the free upgrade to unlimited minutes, texts and data valid until 9th October 2020.

After you've submitted the form you'll have to validate your NHS email address within seven days. You'll then get a text when your unlimited allowances are all set up.

We think this is a pretty straightforward offer with no obvious catch. The only exclusions are what you'd normally expect, such as premium rate numbers and international calls being excluded.

Useful link: How to get iD's NHS data boost

5th: BT Mobile have a temporary data boost for NHS staff

BT Mobile NHS unlimited data

Free unlimited upgrade on any planView the deal

at bt.com
(opens in new window)

In May 2020, BT Mobile launched a special promotion for NHS staff offering to upgrade any mobile or SIM only plan to unlimited data during the coronavirus crisis.

The offer is still ongoing as of June 2020 and they have not published an end date either for signing up or for when the unlimited data will end.

If you're already on BT Mobile you can register for the benefit via a simple online form. To join as a new customer you'll have to commit to at least 12 months, which is one reason we've put them in 5th place here.

These SIM deals from BT Mobile are our favourites from what's currently available to their broadband customers:

The good news though is that they do have some competitively priced options for their broadband customers where the temporary data boost would just be icing on the cake.

In reading the full terms and conditions we didn't see any huge pitfalls, just a 50GB fair use policy on data use while roaming outside the UK which would be acceptable to most people.

Useful link: Full details on BT's NHS offer

Joint last place: all other UK networks

UK networks with no NHS discount

No long-term schemes on these networks

EE, Vodafone and O2 are the only networks to offer a direct, specific discount for NHS staff year round. But as these are traditionally three of the most expensive mobile providers to join, we’d like to point out other deals will likely still work out better value.

There are also some third party schemes claiming to offer NHS discounts on mobile contracts such as the Blue Light Card, healthservicediscounts.com and nhsstaffbenefits.co.uk.

In our experience, those deals don't stack up any better than the offers available to the general public which can be seen in our deal finder below.

We keep an eye on every promotion running across all networks on phones and SIM only contracts. The useful link below will take you to our overview of these.

We’d definitely recommend checking these deals first before rushing into signing up with EE, O2 or Vodafone just because they have a named scheme for NHS staff.

Also below is our comparison tool, showing all SIM only plans available today and any offers on them.

Useful link: See latest special offers from all providers in our guide

SIM only contracts

All SIM only plans available

Here's a look at the whole UK market for SIM only deals:

SIM card and magnifying glass
Deal options >
Mins, texts and data >
Data speed (4G or 5G) >
Max contract length >

Close options

Minutes

0+

Texts

0+

Data

0MB+

Done

Minimum data speed

Any
4G
5G
Done

Maximum contract length

Any
1 month
12 months
Done

Close filters

Choose which networks you'd consider:

Three logo
BT Mobile logo
EE logo
giffgaff logo
ID logo
Lebara logo
O2 logo
Plusnet Mobile logo
Sky logo
SMARTY logo
Talkmobile logo
Tesco logo
Virgin Mobile logo
Vodafone logo
VOXI logo

Phone contracts

All phone plans available

Here's a look at the whole UK market for phone contracts:

SIM card and magnifying glass

Choose a manufacturer

Which make of phone do you want?

Find a plan for your phone

Choose what you want from your deal

Deal options >
Mins, texts and data >
Data speed (3G or 4G) >
Max contract length >
Max upfront cost >

Close options

Minutes

0+

Texts

0+

Data

0MB+

Done

Maximum contract length

Any
12 months
24 months
Done

Upfront cost

Any upfront cost

Done

Close filters

Choose which networks you'd consider:

Three logo
BT Mobile logo
EE logo
giffgaff logo
ID logo
O2 logo
Sky logo
Tesco logo
Virgin Mobile logo
Vodafone logo

SIM Sherpa can help you find your next SIM only deal

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