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NHS staff mobile contract discounts: each UK network's offers

Phone and SIM only NHS discounts

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We rank the NHS staff discounts on EE, Vodafone, O2, Three and other networks, and compare savings on SIM only deals and phone contracts. Last updated: 14th December 2021.

Where NHS discounts are available

Year round NHS staff discounts offered by only three networks

Vodafone logoVodafone logoEE logo

Only Vodafone, O2 and EE have specific schemes

It’s a shame but there aren’t many networks around that offer specific discounts on contracts for NHS staff. Here we’ll show the ones that do and which networks offer the best discounts.

But, it’s still worth shopping around in case there are better non-NHS deals elsewhere before signing up. Some networks can offer generally better value even without offering specific discounts.

Networks don’t tend to let you combine your NHS discount with their other promotions. Sometimes you might get a better deal by not using your NHS discount and taking the best available offer somewhere else instead.

Further down this page we list all the networks currently offering discounts for NHS staff, but also if there are better value deals you can find elsewhere.

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

The UK mobile networks that have the best offers for NHS staff

1st place: EE offer the best NHS discount

EE emergency staff discount

20% off on up to 5 plansView EE offer

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

What we like:
Green plus sign Simple 20% off eligible plans
Green plus sign Discounts on up to 5 plans
Green plus sign Applies to SIM only and device plans

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Might not come with 5G
Red minus sign Can’t combine it with other promotions
Red minus sign Doesn't apply to PAYG

If you have a valid NHS email address or photo ID you can currently benefit from a special discount on up to five plans (both SIM only and device plans) and an unlimited data offer from EE.

You’ll get 20% off all EE’s pay monthly plans (phone contract or a SIM only). It also applies to tablet and mobile broadband deals. EE point out NHS staff can keep using data even when you've run out, but at much slower speeds.

As an NHS staff member you can also apply the same discount to four other EE accounts, meaning your friends and family members also benefit. It only works if you don’t also benefit from EE’s multiple plan savings.

This means if you and four of your mates need a new phone deal then each of you can get a sweet and simple 20% off. The savings effectively work out to the price of an entire deal, so it’s like getting one for free.

These are the best SIM only deals currently available for all customers. Compare these to what you get with the NHS to see which is better value:

You can see which plans can be discounted. To get the discounts you’ll have to register online with your valid NHS email account or photo ID.

We highly recommend comparing these discounted plans to deals offered by other UK providers. EE tend to be among the priciest networks, and even with the discount you could end up paying more with them than with a cheaper network.

EE say in their terms and conditions that the discount can’t be applied to 5G plans. But all their plans get you 5G, so we think this is a mistake.

If you’re set on going with EE and have checked their coverage in your area, you can check the prices for Plusnet and BT Mobile who also use EE’s 3G/4G network (BT also use EE’s 5G, Plusnet don’t).

Useful link: How to get EE's NHS discount

Our ranking:

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’s NHS discount scheme is also great

Vodafone NHS discount scheme

NHS staff save on SIM only and usage plansSee full details

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

What we like:
Green plus sign Big discounts on usage for phone contracts
Green plus sign Add up to six friends or family members

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Discount applied to usage only
Red minus sign Expensive plans

Like EE, Vodafone are generally one of the pricier networks. But they also offer some pretty good discounts for NHS staff members.

If you’ve tried the scheme before and were put off by the £10 membership fee, you’ll be happy to know they’ve removed it. All you need to do is sign up using your NHS email account or photo ID and choose from their selected plans.

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

Their ‘Advantage’ scheme gets you 15% off select SIM only and tablet contract, or 25% off the usage (minutes, texts and data) of a new phone contract. Keep in mind that’s only a discount to the usage, not the phone itself.

You can also share the discount with up to five other users, so you and your friends or family can get some amazing value overall. Just make sure there aren’t any better discounts that you’re missing out on.

It’s easy to claim your discount entirely online - follow these steps:

Green one Select your SIM only or phone contract and log onto the Vodafone website here with either your NHS work email account or upload your work photo ID.

Green one Claim your code by following the link that Vodafone will send to you.

Green one Apply the discount in the checkout.

You can also apply the discount whenever you want, you don’t have to do it in the checkout. To apply it to other accounts you’ll just need to send them a link with the discount code.

If you think Vodafone is right for you and you’ve checked their coverage to make sure, we’d say it’s worth checking VOXI's prices before buying. They use Vodafone’s network but offer more flexible contracts with unlimited streaming data.

Useful link: How to get Vodafone's NHS discount

Our ranking:

Discount on:
Select SIM only, tablet and handset plans

How many plans?
Up to 6 total

Easy to redeem?
Simple online registration with an NHS email

3rd: O2’s NHS discounts only apply to usage on phone deals

O2 Open employee perks

Only your mins, texts and data are discountedView the options

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

What we like:
Green plus sign Decent savings on minutes, texts and data
Green plus sign Direct discount from a major network

What we don't like:
Red minus sign No discount on SIM only
Red minus sign Devices themselves aren’t discounted
Red minus sign Difficult to calculate actual savings

NHS staff can use O2’s employee discount scheme called ‘Open’ to get 25% off their usage on phone contracts. To see what this means it’s worth going over how O2 structure their phone contracts:

The O2 Refresh bill you pay every month is made up of one payment for the cost of the device itself (the device cost split into 24 monthly payments) and another payment for your usage (your minutes, texts and data).

So the 25% discount won’t apply to your whole monthly bill, just your usage plan. Say your regular bill is [£10 phone + £10 airtime=£20], with the discount applied your bill will become [£10 phone + £7.50 airtime=£17.50].

Plus you only get the full 25% discount on data plans 3GB or above - 1GB plans only benefit from a 15% discount.

At least it’s simple to get the discount:

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

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

Green three Within a 28 day period you’ll verify your claim using a link that O2 will send you. Make sure to log in again to O2 Open and add your discount before the deadline.

If you like O2's network coverage, it’s still worth comparing prices with Sky Mobile, giffgaff and Tesco Mobile. They tend to be cheaper, while offering you the same network experience as O2.

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

Our ranking:

Discount on:
Airtime part of handset plans only

How many plans?
Just one

Easy to redeem?
Fairly simple online process

Last place: all other UK networks

UK networks with no NHS discount

No long-term schemes on these networks

Only EE, O2 and Vodafone offer discounts specifically for NHS staff. But in all fairness they are some of the most expensive networks to join in the first place. These other networks still may be able to offer you better value anyway.

BT did have an unlimited data add-on for all NHS staff that boosted all SIM only and usage plans to unlimited data. But that has since been withdrawn. A shame since BT are more competitively priced than the top three.

NHS staff can also benefit from discounts offered by the Blue Light Card, healthservicediscounts.com and nhsstaffbenefits.co.uk on certain networks.

But in our opinion, those deals aren’t nearly as good as the more competitive deals on offer. You can see all current special offers by following the link below. We’re always looking to show you the best offer deals possible.

Always bear in mind, just because it says it’s a special NHS discount doesn’t make it the best deal. We highly recommend shopping around to get the best value before going with these pricier networks.

Check our comparison tools below to see what the best current SIM only and phone deals are on the market right now.

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

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

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