Monthly Archives

December 2015


How to Survive Your First NHS Night Shift

The day has finally arrived – your first NHS night shift.

The nerves start to kick in.

Will you be able to handle it? How will you stay awake? What are you supposed to eat?

These are just a few of the questions that start to creep into your head.


If you’re worrying about your first NHS night shift, don’t panic. There’s plenty of people who have been in your shoes and got through it just fine.

So, to help you out, we asked our 149,000 Facebook friends for their best piece of advice for someone who’s about to start their first night shift. Here’s what they said:

“Haribos are a must! Drink plenty water. And prepare for 4am -5am. I feel that taking your break around this time helps.”

“Try and take a nap before you go. Take a snack with you, nothing too heavy and drink lots of water.”

“Keep yourself busy, time will go quicker and a little treat to keep you going.”

Busy nurse

“Get in as early as possible and keep busy, the time will go quicker!”

“After a night shift, sleep for at least 3-4 hours, get up and watch TV or anything you fancy doing. Then have another 3hrs before work again. That works for me.”

“If you struggle to sleep before a night shift, take something like Nightol or Night Nurse to help get you off to sleep. And a tipple before bed is perfectly acceptable as this is your night time!”

Night shift sleep

And the not-so helpful advice:

“Keep buying Lottery tickets. The odds of winning are smaller than a temp getting paid more than you, but you never know.”

“Phone in sick.”


Do you have any more advice for people starting their first NHS night shift? Tell us in the comments.




The Big Fat NHS Quiz Of The Year

As there are so many of you working hard over the Christmas period, we thought it was time to have a bit of fun.

The Big Fat NHS Quiz of the Year is here!

Let us know your score on Facebook and don’t forget to SHARE THE QUIZ with your friends to see who gets the best score.

Have you signed up to our NHS discounts scheme yet? Register today it’s FREE!


The Big NHS Christmas Quiz

It’s Christmas time, so let’s play a game!

Do you think you know your stuff about the NHS and healthcare? Let’s put your knowledge to the test and see how much you really know in The Big NHS Christmas Quiz!

Don’t forget to share the quiz with your friends and let us know your score on Facebook.

Register for your NHS discounts today, it’s free!




10 Things You Found Difficult When You Started Your NHS Career

Starting any new job is difficult, but when you start your career in the NHS, it’s like no other.

You’re entering into a fast-paced, challenging world, full of ups and downs, long shifts, late nights, frustrations and tiredness – all with an overarching sense of superior pride and unbelievable achievement.

There is no other career like it and you learn things about yourself that you never imagined possible.

But when you’re first starting out, it can be quite difficult adjusting to NHS life.

We asked our Facebook friends what they found difficult when they first started their career in the NHS and we had some interesting responses:

  1. “Dealing with deaths especially children, it was so heart breaking”
  2. “Not understanding the terminology.”
  3. “The whole transition realising the amount of pressure and responsibilities.”Nurse stressed
  4. “The pressure off some senior staff.”
  5. “When I started nursing in 1952 it was the strict code of conduct and discipline. You could not go to the toilet without permission!”
  6. “I had a few bully girls in one of the health visiting teams I used to work in, was awful. Would complain, then stopped for a month or two, then start again, it was a power thing. Glad to say lessons learned by myself and would not stand for it now, was 19 at time and very innocent but 35 and still working for NHS and love my job and the people I work with.”
  7. “None of the above, I chose and always wanted to be a nurse, so I took the good and the bad, learnt from them both, and strove to be my very best, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, worked hard and played even harder, and have 40 years of memories and experience to draw on, seen the NHS go through many changes, some good, others not so, but I chose this career, and don’t regret it one iota.”Nurse caring
  8. “Dealing with staff/ward managers who can’t have empathy or understanding for you in situations when you need it, yet we’re in a career which is based on empathy and understanding…too many people too big for their own boots, but I love my job. I love helping and supporting people.”
  9. “The people – placements could be awful with several people actually bragging about how horrible they were to students and how they tried to make them cry. Disgusting behaviour, especially when the (at the time) practice educator sides with them. Luckily I’ve now been qualified for just over a year and enjoy making my students time fun and a pleasure, even if the work is hard.”
  10. “I was lucky. None of the above when I first started. I loved every minute”.

Did you find anything difficult when you started your career in the NHS? Let us know in the comments below.


10 NHS Staff Discounts You Don’t Want to Miss This Christmas

There are two types of people in this world: those who love Christmas shopping, and those who absolutely despise it.

The ‘lovers’ tend to be super-organised and super-efficient. They know exactly what they want and they make sure they get it. There’s never a disappointed person on their gift list.

The ‘despisers’ are the opposite; putting it off until Christmas Eve, running around like headless chickens trying to find something…. anything that will do.

But what do these two types of people have in common?

They both love a good discount!

We know NHS staff are extremely busy, even more so around Christmas, so to help you out we’ve put together 10 Christmas NHS discounts that you don’t want to miss out on this year.

Apple EPP Store – Up to 10% off for NHS

Apple Christmas NHS Discount

You can always count on an Apple product to put a smile on someone’s face at Christmas. NHS staff can save up to 10% on iPad’s, iPhone’s, MacBook’s, iPod’s, Beats by Dre and much more.


Footasylum – Exclusive 10% off NHS discount

Footasylum Christmas NHS Discount

Footasylum has some of the coolest trends in clothing and footwear on the high-street. Get a fantastic 10% off with our exclusive NHS discount code.


 Lovehoney – Up to 50% off + exclusive 15% off for NHS

Lovehoney Christmas NHS Discount

‘The Sexual Happiness People’, Lovehoney knows exactly what makes men and women tick. NHS staff can get an exclusive 15% off all their quality products, ranging from essential accessories to fun and fancy-free items.


Clarks – Up to 60% off sale

Clarks Sale

Pick up a pair of beautiful, high-quality shoes in the Clarks up to 60% off sale. Get the deal now.


AO – Christmas deals with free next day delivery + £30 off products over £349 for NHS Christmas NHS Discount

Choose from over 4000 products including laptops, tablets, fridge freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, ovens, TV’s, vacuum cleaners & much more.


Hewlett Packard NHS Discount Store – Save up to 30% off Christmas gifts

Hewlett Packard Christmas NHS Discount

Save money on Laptops, PCs, Tablets, Printers and Accessories at the Hewlett Packard NHS Discount Store.


iPhone 7 – Cheapest free iPhone 7 – £32 a month

iPhone 7 Christmas NHS Discount

Fantastic price for a new iPhone 7 which comes with 1GB of data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts.


Red Letter Days – 20% extra NHS discount

Red Letter Days Christmas NHS Discount

A Red Letter Days experience will make the perfect present this Christmas. Choose from driving days, pamper experiences, gourmet dining, spa days & more.


Mybag – Exclusive 15% NHS discount

Mybag Christmas NHS Discount

Treat yourself or your partner to a special new bag that they deserve. Brands include Ted Baker, Aspinal of London, Michael Kors and more.


Peacocks – Exclusive 20% NHS discount

Peacocks Christmas NHS Discount

Save 20% on the best women’s, men’s & kids’ fashion. Perfect to get a few Christmas presents or a special outfit for the festive party season.

If you haven’t already registered as a member, you can sign up here. It’s free to join and you can use any of our NHS discounts.

Merry Christmas and happy shopping!


The Ultimate Survival Guide to NHS Theatre Life

Working in an NHS theatre is exciting, rewarding and a totally cool career choice.

If you’re just starting NHS theatre life, then it can be quite overwhelming. You have to be made from something a little bit different to work in theatre. One day you could be catching a leg in an amputation, the next you could be huddled around in excitement awaiting the delivery of a baby via C-section. You have to be ready for anything.

Some people simply can’t hack it. It’s certainly not your average 9-5 but if you’re ready for the challenge, then it can be done. You can survive and you’ll absolutely love the work that you do.

To help you start with a bang, here’s our Ultimate Survival Guide to NHS Theatre Life. If you’ve got any more tips for newbies, tell us in the comments below.

1. Don’t be squeamish

You’re going to see things that other people can only imagine, so be ready because it does get messy. If you’re in an operation and think you’re going to pass out, have a sit down so you don’t have far to fall. The surgeons haven’t got time to deal with a head injury as well!

2. Make plenty of notes

Get a notebook and write down instructions, procedures, different surgical techniques and preferences. Anything that will help you get through your list. If you know exactly what each surgeons wants and how they work, it will help you make a great first impression. You will be more prepared and ready for anything that is thrown at you.

3. Look after your feet

Keep plenty of spare socks in your locker. Things can wet, especially in urology, and you don’t want to be squelching around theatre in wet socks for the rest of the day.

4. Teamwork makes the dreamwork

Working well together is vital and makes a productive theatre and will improve your NHS theatre life. Pitch in where you can and as much as you can. There might be times when you have to do things that you don’t feel you should, but just get on with it and it will get recognized.

5. Master your switch-off mechanism

How you manage your stress is important and you need to find your own way to switch off after a shift, so you don’t take things home. This might be taking a quick stroll around the car park, pulling over in your car for 10 minutes, going for a run – whatever works best for you. Master your switch off mechanism and you will have a healthier work/life balance.

6. Stand up for yourself

Don’t let people walk all over you, because they will try to. Stand up for what you believe in. The main priority is taking care of your patients. If you feel something isn’t right, then speak up. You’ll be more respected in the long run.

7. Use the loos wisely

Once you’re scrubbed, you could be in theatre for hours, so make sure that you go to the loo beforehand. You don’t want to get caught out when you’re at the operating table.

8. Be happy

Things can be tense and stressful in theatre, as you would expect in such a high-pressure environment. Having a good sense of humour will bring a breath of fresh air into your department. Being positive and happy will help you get through your day, and you colleagues will respond to this.

9. Bring snacks

Bring plenty of snacks into work to keep in your locker. Finding time to eat regularly on your shift can be difficult when you work in theatre because you never know when you could be hit with an emergency. Having some snacks handy can help keep you fueled before your next big job.

10. Enjoy it

Our most important survival tip. Working in theatre in the NHS is a great career. Something different, exciting, interesting and weird happens every day. Give your new challenge everything you’ve got, work hard and embrace the ups and downs. You will love it.

Have you got any more tips to give to someone just starting their NHS theatre life? Tell us in the comments below.



NHS Cashback Card Retailer List

Did you know that if you work in the NHS you’re eligible to claim up to 5% cashback at over 50 of the biggest retailers and get money back on every single purchase.

Earning cashback is a great way to accumulate money and it can be a nice little treat when you decide to withdraw it from your account.

If you work in the NHS, have an NHS email address and you’re a Health Service Discounts member (if you’re not, it’s free to join!), then you’re eligible for the our Cashback Card.

Our Cashback Card is a pre-paid debit card. It only costs £2.99 to purchase and there’s no credit check; you only spend what you load onto the card. Simply top it up with the amount that you are going to spend and use it like any other payment card, earning cashback on your purchases as you go.

There is a full list below of all the retailers and restaurants where you can us your Cashback Card.

Find out more about the Health Service Discounts Cashback Card today.

Argos – 5%

Asda – 2.5%

Ask Italian – 5%

B&Q – 5%

Babies R Us – 5%

Belgo – 5%

Bella Italia – 5%

Boots – 5%

Burton – 5%

Cafe Rouge – 5%

Caffe Nero – 5%

Carpetright – 5%

Debenhams – 5%

Dorothy Perkins – 5%

Ernest Jones – 5%

Evans – 5%

Evans Cycles – 5%

FeelUnique – 5%

GAP – 5%

Goldsmiths – 5%

H Samuel – 5%

Halfords – 5%

Hotel Voucher Shop – 5%

House of Fraser – 5%

John Lewis – 5%

Leslie Davis – 5%

Mappin & Webb – 5%

Marks and Spencer – 5%

Marriott Hotels – 5%

Miss Selfridge – 5%

Moss Bros – 5%

Mothercare – 5%

New Look – 5%

Outfit – 5%

Papa Johns – 5%

PizzaExpress – 5%

River Island – 5%

Sainsburys – 3%

Spafinder – 5%

TGI Fridays – 5%

The White Company – 5%

The Works – 5%

Thorntons – 5%

Topman – 5%

Topshop – 5%

Toys R Us – 5%

Tunetribe – 5%

Virgin Experience – 5%

Waitrose – 5%

Wallis – 5%

Waterstones – 5%

Wilko – 5%

Wyevale Garden Centres – 5%


Zizzi – 5%

Click on the banner below to sign up for Health Service Discounts Cashback Card today!

Cashback Card Banner


NHS Discount List

Looking for an NHS discount list that shows you where you can make some great savings? Look no further.

NHS discounts are great. They’re a small perk for the amazing work that you’re doing to look after people every day.

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to find an offer that will help you make a great saving. That’s why we’ve created this NHS discount list. All of our discounts have been arranged in order by the name of the brand. Simply click on the links to go through to the offer pages, login to your account, then claim the discount.

If you’re not already registered with us, you need to sign up as a member before you can claim our discounts.

Find an amazing saving today from our NHS discount list.

*Offers are subject to change and therefore the offer pages below may change. Don’t worry though, you can still search for all of our discounts on our website.


NHS discount list


Online Shopping Made Easy for NHS Staff this Christmas

Are you working a lot of shifts over the Christmas period and struggling to find the time to get all of your shopping done?

Never fear, online shopping has made it quicker and easier for us to grab some last minute presents. There’s an abundance of great deals, discounts and offers available to NHS staff that can help save you money this Christmas.

Some of you may have doubts about shopping online. You may be concerned about your online safety and personal details, or you just don’t have confidence in using the internet for shopping.

To help you out, we’ve put together some advice that will make the wonderful world of online shopping easy for NHS staff this Christmas, so that you can get the best bargains and save money.

Protect your device

First of all – make sure that your device is secure. Check that your computer has good antivirus and anti-malware programs, or if you’re using a mobile device, check that it has the latest update. This will protect you from any viruses and attacks, keeping your personal information secure. One last check that all of your security settings are correct, and you’re good to go.

Don’t leave it too late

So, you’ve trawled through a number of websites and you’ve finally found the perfect gift for your other half. Just as you’re about to add it to your basket, you suddenly notice that ‘OUT OF STOCK’ is staring you in the face. Don’t leave it too late, otherwise you might miss out on the perfect present and have to spend another hour trying to find a replacement. Also, remember not to miss the last posting date so that you don’t have to pay extra for special delivery- Royal Mail advise that the last 1st class post is on Monday 21st December.

Check for free returns

If you’re buying clothing and you’re unsure about the sizes, double check the returns policy and look out for free returns. A number of retailers don’t charge you to return your items, so you can get a few different sizes and send the ones back that don’t fit.

Make the most of NHS discounts

Don’t forget to make the most of the NHS discounts available – you do a great job and deserve to reap the rewards. There’s loads of fantastic offers to help NHS staff save money this Christmas, you just need to know where to find them. That’s where we come in – we have hundreds of amazing deals for NHS staff on everything from mobile phones and appliances, to travel and electronics.

Cashback please!

Getting cashback on your purchases is a great way to save a few well-earned pounds. It’s simple, you buy what you like from a retailer that offers cashback, and they give you money-back. We offer a Health Service Discounts Mastercard Cashback Card allowing you can earn cashback from retailers including: Argos, Boots, John Lewis, Toys ‘R’ Us and M&S.

Start saving money on your Christmas shopping today by registering for your NHS Discounts. It only takes a couple of minutes and registration is free.

Happy shopping!