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Various logos of UK mobile networks

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: 23rd October 2019

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 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

We rate EE's NHS discount first because it's a straightforward 20% off most types of plans available. Use it on SIM only, tablet, mobile broadband and handset plans with the UK's largest 4G network.

Taking a fifth off the price of your phone and your minutes, texts and data cost could be quite a hefty saving on your monthly bills.

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.

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.

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

Joint last place: all other UK networks

UK networks with no NHS discount

No specific discounts on these networks

EE, Vodafone and O2 are the only networks to offer a direct, specific discount for NHS staff. 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

Choose what you want in your deal:

Deal options >
Choose mins, texts and data >
Choose data speed (4G or 5G) >
Choose max contract length >

Close options

Minutes

Texts

Data

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
O2 logo
Plusnet logo
Sky logo
SMARTY logo
Tesco logo
Virgin Mobile logo
Vodafone logo
VOXI logo
Showing SIM only deals with at least
 mins |  texts |  data on 4G or 5Gedit search
( possibilities) on any length contract.

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)
Want more results?
Use these filters to make your search more specific
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on G
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minutes
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minutes
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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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