NHS and care worker staff freebies & discounts

Food, shopping, days out and more

Many companies offer special discounts for NHS staff and healthcare workers (and some that emergency services personnel can get too). This guide lists the top deals available and how to get them, including FREE hot drink at Asda20% off McDonald's, Toby Carvery and Nando's, 10% back on Asda fresh food£6 off Iceland40% off Getir, free Headspace and lots more.

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£5 Blue Light Card gives access to 1,000s of deals for NHS staff, care workers & more

One of the main ways NHS and care workers can get discounts is to sign up for a Blue Light Card, which costs £4.99 for two years' access. You'll need your work ID or a recent payslip to prove you're eligible for the service (it can take up to seven days to be registered).

As well as NHS and care workers, it's also available to other emergency services such as the Fire Service, RNLI, Mountain Rescue, Red Cross and more – see below for the full list.

  • Which services are included?

    • 4x4 Response
    • Ambulance Service
    • Blood Bikes
    • Border Force
    • British Army
    • Cave Rescue
    • Community First Responders
    • Fire Service
    • Highways England Traffic Officer
    • HM Armed Forces Veterans
    • HM Coastguard
    • HM Prison Service
    • Immigration Enforcement
    • Lowland Search and Rescue
    • MoD Fire Service
    • MoD Police
    • Mountain Rescue
    • NHS
    • Police
    • Red Cross
    • Reserve Armed Forces
    • RNLI
    • Royal Air Force
    • Royal Marines
    • Royal Navy
    • Search and Rescue
    • Social Care Workers
    • St Andrews Ambulance
    • St John Ambulance
    • UK Visas and Immigration

You can also sign up if you're retired NHS staff with a P60 showing an NHS pension.

Blue Light Card says it offers 15,000+ high street and online discounts from large retailers and local businesses, covering fashion, days out, restaurants, holidays and more. You aren't able to see specific deals until after signing up, though we've included some in our list of deals below.

If you think you'll save more than a fiver in two years then it's worth signing up. See Blue Light Card FAQs for full information.

Up to 12% cashback at 80+ retailers for NHS & care workers with the Ode prepaid card

NHS and care workers (plus those working in charity and education) can apply for the Ode prepaid card, which gets up to 12% cashback at over 80 retailers. When we checked, this included Asda 2.5%, M&S and Waitrose 3%, Primark 7%, Boots and John Lewis 5%, and Virgin Experience Days 12% – see a full list of brands and cashback.

You'll get the cashback on top of other offers, so it's good for maxing savings. There's a minimum top up of £5 (with prepaid cards, there's no credit check and you can only spend the amount you add to it). Any earned cashback is automatically added to your balance within seven days in most cases and is available to spend when you next top up.

The card is free for the first year, then a £2.99 annual fee kicks in – so remember to cancel then if you find you're not earning much cashback. It's also important to note that after your card's two years old, if you don't use it for 12 months there's a £5 per month inactivity fee.

  • How your money is protected on prepaid cards

    Any money you deposit is ring-fenced in a separate bank account, so if there are problems with Ode, the money's safe as the bank or building society where your money's held will still retain your cash for you to get back.

    The slight risk comes if the bank or building society goes bust, because your cash is NOT protected in this case.

    It's best to think of your prepaid card as one that you'll keep cash on for immediate or short-term spending requirements, rather than as a place to store a load of cash for long periods of time.

Before applying, see our full Prepaid cards guide for more need-to-knows.

Top NHS and care worker staff freebies & discounts

This is our list of top deals currently offered to NHS and care worker staff (and some for emergency services too). We've made it clear who's eligible for what, and whether you can get the deal just by showing work ID, or if a Blue Light Card or other sign up is required.

NHS staff discounts tend to beat those offered to all, but sometimes retailers have short-lived promotions available to everyone that will save you more money, so before using an NHS discount, it's worth comparing other offers to make sure you're getting the best deal.

Used an NHS freebie or discount not featured here? Please email to let us know.

0 Current Deals

Food & drink discounts

Supermarket discounts

  • NHS and emergency services staff can link their Blue Light Card (£4.99 for two years – see full info) to the free Asda Rewards app to get 10% back each time on 'fresh food' purchases in-store (see 'More info' for exclusions) when scanning the app at the checkout. The amount will go into your Asda Rewards 'cashpot' which you can use to get a discount on a future shop in-store or online, so it's not an on-the-spot discount.

    Asda says it considers 'fresh food' (and therefore included in the offer) to be all fresh meat and fish, fruit and vegetables, food-to-go, ready meals, chilled and dairy, bakery, and – bizarrely – flowers.

    How it works

    • Download/sign in to the Asda Rewards app, select 'More' then 'Memberships'. You can then link your Blue Light Card – once you've filled in the info, Asda says verification will take seconds.
    • Shop as normal in-store (find your nearest, not valid online) and then scan your Asda Rewards app at the checkout – you'll receive 10% of the amount of your eligible shopping into your cashpot in the app.
    • To claim money in your cashpot against the cost of a future shop you'll need to exchange it for an in-app voucher within six months (vouchers are then valid for three months).

    See full Asda Blue Light Card terms and conditions.

    • You can't use the discount online, on George/George.com, Frozen, Non-Fresh Food items, health and beauty, baby, household including pet and laundry, George Home, Homeware and outdoor, entertainment and toys, Asda Tyres, Fuel, all alcohol, Tobacco, Lottery products, Gift Vouchers & Cards, Infant/Formula Milk, Cash-back, Fireworks, Online Games & Instant Tickets, Photo Printing, Saver Stamps, Postage Stamps, ‘Top-Up’ Mobile Phone Cards, any other online Financial Services and Insurances, Pharmacy, café & separate concessions and all items within the Just Essentials by Asda and Smart Price ranges.

    See all deals: Asda (9 deals)
  • If you work for the NHS and you're new to speedy grocery delivery service Getir, you can use a code for 40% off when spending £30 or more on your first order via its app. There's a maximum discount of £16, so you'll make a saving on spends up to £40.

    To use the offer, sign up to Getir with your NHS email address and add the code 40NHS to the 'Promotions' section of the Getir app (Android/iOS). Then, when you've chosen your order, tap 'Select promotion' at the checkout and pick the NHS offer to apply it to your basket.

    You can only use the code once and it can't be combined with any other code. The minimum spend excludes alcohol, tobacco products, cigarettes, gift cards, infant formula and medicines.

    Getir delivers to selected areas of London, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester and Southampton.

    For more ways to save on grocery delivery, see our New-customer delivery offers round-up.

    See all deals: NHS (10 deals)
  • If you're a new online customer to Iceland* and a Blue Light Card holder, you can get £6 off a £45 or more spend online only.

    You'll need to log in to Blue Light Card online to claim a unique discount code, which you can then use at the checkout. This offer will only work once. A Blue Light Card costs £4.99 for two years, so if you're only using it for this offer you'd still save money.

    If you're already an Iceland customer, you can still get a discount via your Blue Light Card, however it will be £3 off a £60 spend, so if you're not planning on taking up any other Blue Light Card offers it might not be worth it for you.

    Important: If you amend your order, you will lose the code and pay the full amount, as the codes are single use only, so be sure to add everything you need before checking out.

    The cost of carrier bags and adding electronic savings to your Bonus Card won't count towards the £45 or £60 spend, and in Scotland, purchases of alcohol don't count towards the minimum spend either. See Iceland's full terms and conditions*.

    See all deals: Iceland (3 deals)

Clothing & shoes discounts

Motoring & transport discounts

Health & wellbeing discounts

  • Mindfulness and meditation app Headspace is offering free three-month Headspace Plus subscriptions to NHS staff who sign up using their NHS email account (see more info for which accounts are included). It's extended this offer until Sunday 31 December 2023.

    If you've already signed up previously for a free three months, Headspace says you should be able to sign up again. 

      • You'll be asked to choose from three types of role, all of which are eligible for this offer: 'Clinical professionals' (eg, Doctors, Nurses, etc.), 'Non-clinical professionals' (eg, administrative functions), or 'Wellbeing lead' (eg, the person responsible for staff wellbeing).
      • You'll need to register using your NHS email account to get the offer.
      • Accepted email addresses include: nhs.net, nhs.uk, nhsemployers.org, hscni.net, scot.nhs.uk, doctors.org.uk, and uk.issworld.com.
      • For more help and information, see the Headspace help pages.
    See all deals: Headspace (1 deal)
  • Mental health programme Unmind is giving free access to NHS staff who sign up online with their NHS email account. It's valid until Sunday 31 December.

    Access Unmind via the special NHS link, sign up with your NHS work email, answer a few questions to get set up, then download the app to your phone.

    See all deals: NHS (10 deals)
  • NHS staff and emergency service workers looking to join a Nuffield Health fitness and wellbeing centre can get 30% off a full individual monthly rolling or 12-month membership – prices vary by location (find your nearest). See 'More info' below for full eligibility criteria. See full Nuffield Health T&Cs.

    To sign up online, if you work for the NHS use the code NHS30 in the corporate discount code section at the checkout. For fire service, use the code FIRE30 and for the police service, use the code POLICE30. You'll need to show your work ID on your first visit.

    • This offer is available to:

      NHS: Any person employed full or part-time by the National Health Service.

      Police: Any person employed full or part-time as a police officer or special constable or special police constable (SC or SPC), a member of NARPO (retired police officers) or employed by a police station in an admin role.

      Fire: Any person employed full or part-time as a Fire Officer or Volunteer Fire Officer or member of NARF (retired fire officer) or employed by a fire station in an admin role.

      Blue Light Card holders: Anyone holding a valid Blue Light Card can join in their local centre or by logging in to their Blue Light Card account and searching for Nuffield Health.

    See all deals: NHS (10 deals)
  • If you've a Blue Light Card, Pure Gym (find your nearest) is offering 5% off monthly memberships or 10% off fixed-term memberships, plus no joining fee (normally about £15).

    The cost of membership depends on the location, but Pure Gym says monthly memberships start from £15.99 a month.

    To get the discount, sign in to Blue Light Card (£4.99 for two years – see more info), and generate a code from its website or via the app.

    See all deals: NHS (10 deals)

Days out deals

Mobile phone contract offers

  • If you're with O2 and planning to refresh your tariff, as the NHS is working with O2 you're eligible for its O2 Open discount* if you apply within 28 days of the start of your O2 Refresh contract with an eligible handset, tablet, hotspot or dongle.

    Complete the verification process via the Open portal, and then sign in again to add the discount. See full T&Cs.

    Important: Do check that the offer you sign up for is the most suitable, and cheapest offer for you. Don't take O2's word for it that even with the 15% or 25% off it will be the best offer. See our Cheap Mobile Finder to compare deals before you buy.

    • You can't get the discount with: Pay As You Go, non-O2 Refresh tariffs, sharer plans, business accounts, Sim only deals and contracts not bought directly from O2.

      If your airtime agreement includes any other offers or discounts, eg, six months' free airtime, you won’t be eligible for O2 Open. There’s no discount available on Apple Watch airtime plans.

    See all deals: O2 (5 deals)
  • If you register online at Vodafone* with your NHS email address, you'll receive a code for 25% off selected 12 or 24-month pay monthly phones, SIM only plans, or iPad/tablet plans. You'll also be able to extend the benefit to up to five of your friends and family. See full T&Cs for more information.

    Important: Do check that the offer you sign up for is the most suitable, and cheapest offer for you. Don't take Vodafone's word for it that even with the 15% or 25% off it will be the best offer. See our Cheap Mobile Finder to compare deals before you buy.

    See all deals: Vodafone (2 deals)
  • If you register online at EE* with your NHS email address, or NHS photo ID card, you'll receive a code for 20% off selected 24-month pay monthly phone, SIM or broadband plans. You'll also be able to extend the benefit to up to four of your friends and family.

    If you run out of data, this offer also gives you free unlimited data at a reduced speed of 2Mbps so you'll still be able to access the internet, albeit at a slower speed.

    If your phone breaks, it also allows priority phone repair, which EE says will take up to seven days instead of the usual up to 14 days to repair. See EE help pages, or full T&Cs for more information.

    Important: Do check that the offer you sign up for is the most suitable, and cheapest offer for you – don't take EE's word for it that even with the 20% off it will be the best offer. See our Cheap Mobile Finder to compare deals before you buy.

    See all deals: EE (1 deal)

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Uniform tax refund – reclaim £100s from up to five years of expenses

If you have to wash or repair your uniform yourself, you may be able to claim tax relief, which could be £100s. The standard flat-rate expense allowance for uniform maintenance is £60 – though many working in the NHS are entitled to more. See our FREE uniform tax refund guide for full information on eligibility and how to claim.

But in a nutshell, claim a uniform tax refund, and you'll get back the amount of tax you would otherwise have paid. For example, the flat-rate annual expense for ambulance staff is £185. So a basic-rate taxpayer gets 20% of £185 as a rebate – which is £37. Higher-rate taxpayers will get back £74.

In addition to their standard allowance (£125), nurses and midwives can also claim for shoes, socks and tights.

What’s more, you can reclaim from up to five tax years.

How much annual tax relief you can claim by occupation

Ambulance staff on active service
£185 £37 £74
Nurses, midwives, chiropodists, dental nurses, therapists, healthcare assistants, phlebotomists and radiographers
£125, plus 12 shoes and 6 tights or stockings (where everyone is required to wear the same colour/style) £25 £50
Plaster room orderlies, hospital porters, ward clerks, sterile supply workers, hospital domestics and hospital catering staff £125 £25 £50
Laboratory staff, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants £80 £16 £32
Uniformed ancillary staff – maintenance workers, grounds staff, drivers, parking attendants and security guards, receptionists and other uniformed staff £80 £16 £32

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