Monthly Archives

September 2018

Money Saving Tips

Protect Yourself from the Energy Price Rise this October

Protect yourself from the energy price rise this October. The time to switch your energy provider is now.

The wholesale prices that energy companies pay are on the rise; this means that your domestic prices will go up during your next billing period.

You will also see exclusive energy deals end this October due to price hikes.

That’s why our Head of Partnerships, Luke Ince, has created a special NHS Energy Switch deal for our members. He tells us:

“Every year thousands of NHS staff do not switch energy supplier. They end up paying way over the odds on standard variable tariffs. Switching is simple and you can confirm your switch in just a few minutes. By moving to one of our exclusive tariffs you could save up to £537*. The current deals are fixed which means you will avoid any price hikes like the ones coming in October.”

Understanding the price cap

Another fluctuation in energy prices that you need to be aware of is the price cap on standard tariffs. Ofgem will be introducing the price cap on standard tariffs by the end of December.

While this means that consumers will be getting a fair deal it is not necessarily the best deal. You could still be paying over the odds. Standard tariffs are typically the most expensive.

The message is don’t rest on your laurels, the sooner you switch energy providers the more chance you have of getting the cheapest deal on the market; even when the price cap comes into play.

Switching is easy

If you’ve never switched energy providers before, it couldn’t be easier. Simply find an old bill that shows your projected or actual usage. Click on the deal and follow through the instructions to enter your postcode and current supplier.

Once you’ve inputted details about your current supplier, run the comparison and choose the right deal for you. Then simply switch and start saving!

 

Once you’ve switched you don’t need to tell your existing supplier. Just take meter readings on the date you switch and keep a safe record of them.

The big six energy providers will be putting up their prices for a second time this year very soon. This rise should hit most consumers on their next bills. There’s still time for you to switch, get yourself the cheapest deal on the market before the tariffs and the weather changes!

Compare your energy in some simple steps and check how much you could be saving with NHS Energy Switch. 

*Our switching partner energyhelpline.com compares all publicly available energy tariffs under the OFGEM Confidence Code. 10% of customers switching their gas and electricity bills through services provided by our switching partner between 1st Feb 2016 and 16th Nov 2017 saved £537 or more. Survey of over 100,000 switches.

 

Lifestyle

Help Nurses in Need

Our healthcare workers push themselves the extra mile – it’s the reason we exist. We want to help nurses in need and we need you!

They might be our heroes but we also know that healthcare workers are only human and sometimes they need support.

That’s why we, the Health Service Discounts team, are going the extra mile uphill to conquer Snowden – the highest mountain in Wales – for Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

For 4 years we have been supporting Cavell Nurses’ Trust – a fantastic national charity that helps nurses, midwives, and healthcare assistants. They exist for those who find themselves in need of financial help and support.

As well as practical advice the charity offers one-off financial grants for things like living expenses, white goods, respite care and aids for daily living for those with disabilities.

They also offer regular assistance when illness or low income causes exceptional hardship.

Over this period our lottery, that has been specifically set up to support Health Service Staff, has given away over £134,000 in prizes and raised over £112,000 for Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

Sponsor us at our Just Giving page

We want to support Cavell Nurses Trust in every way possible. As a team we are taking part in their 10K For Nurses challenge.

Keep an eye out on our blog for an update after 13th of October. With your help our challenge to climb Snowdon at an elevation of 1,085 metres will be complete.

We’d love it if you and your colleagues would support this great cause by donating on our Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/we-are-discounts

A small amount really does help those Healthcare workers who are in need:

£10 Pays travel costs for a nurse suffering from cancer to attend a hospital appointment

£25 Helps a healthcare assistant on a low income buy school uniform for their child

£50 Helps pay heating costs for a retired midwife who’s recovering from illness

£500 Helps pay emergency rent for a nurse fleeing domestic abuse

If you would like to find out more about the great work Cavell Nurses Trust do you can visit their website: https://www.cavellnursestrust.org/

In the meantime, wish us luck, and please donate what you can to this worthy cause.

Career

Top 5 NHS Job Interview Tips and Typical Questions

The best way to reduce that fear of the unknown is to get prepared. We’ve had a look at the top 5 NHS job interview tips and typical questions you may encounter.

Job interviews don’t have to be daunting. It’s natural to have a healthy amount of nerves when being asked to perform under pressure.

The tips below will orientate you to perform well at interview. Time to get organised!

 

1. Build a strong argument for why you want the role

Make us believe in you! Why do you want the role?

It is your authentic belief and passion that ultimately sells you into the role. If you are competing against a candidate with a similar skill set who isn’t as adept at expressing the reasons as to why they believe in the work they do it is likely that you will outshine them.

A recent Ted Talk by Simon Sinek demonstrated that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. He used Apple as the example – a company that produces computers that perform the same tasks as equipment produced by rival companies.

Yet Apple are the market leaders. The difference is that they have a clear belief in their ethos of challenging the status quo through ‘beautiful designs, being simple to use and user friendly’. He reiterates ‘people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it’.

Why do you want that job in healthcare? If you can develop a reason based on your passions, ambitions and integrate that into your journey so far you will be able to craft a compelling answer to that question, and indeed the delivery of the role.

 

2. Back up your belief with evidence of your experience

You can build an even stronger case for yourself by aligning your reasons for the work you do with concrete evidence of your experience and qualifications.

It is important you do this in a way that matches up with the desired and essential criteria laid out by the organisation. Many NHS roles have detailed job descriptions and person specifications.

When applications are laid out in this way the employer usually needs to be able to fulfil the official criteria for an offer of employment to be made.

The best way to put yourself in a strong position is to tailor your answers and give evidence of how you meet their essential criteria.

Make succinct points on each skill requested. This will help you to build a good picture of how you will fit into and interpret the role and its functions.

Where you may have gaps in your experience try to gather examples that aren’t exact matches, but that are functionally similar. For example, you may have a lot of experience in dealing with people face-to-face in a professional environment, but not specifically in healthcare. How can you translate this knowledge into your new environment?

 

3. Create a list of answers to common interview questions

Interview questions typically cover a lot of similar ground during the recruitment process. Plan your answers to common and anticipated questions.

If you are asked variations of the questions you have prepped, use your stock response and adjust it slightly to suit the format on the day.

Questions that you may typically come across in interviews include:

  • Why do you want to work here?

Have a look at number 1 on this blog ‘Build a strong argument for why you want the role’

  • Tell me about yourself

Tell them about your professional history and your journey so far. Use the opportunity to pick out hightlights.

  • What do you think you can bring to the role?

Make a skills checklist, include any transferable skills where necessary and back it all up with real world examples from your work history and experience.

  • Role specific questions such as: Do you have any experience working with elderly patients?

If you don’t have direct experience include any experience when you’ve had to use the same skill and transfer it to the given scenario.

  • What do you know about the NHS, and this trust?

Do your research – memorise some key facts and figures on the trust you are applying to and the NHS more widely.

  • What is your biggest strength/weakness?

Give an example of a weakness that you’ve learnt from and already overcome. Give an example of how this happened, and how you deal with the situation differently today.

  • What are your career goals? / Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Think about how your goals align with the long-term objectives of the organisation and feed it into your answer.

  • Why did you leave your last job?

A better way to think about this question is – why do you want to develop with this organisation, in this role? What has made you make this change? Be positive.

  • Give me an example of a difficult situation or task at work. How did you deal with it?

Find an example within your experience that demonstrates your dexterity in dealing with challenging situations, people or problems. What did you learn?

  • What achievement are you most proud of?

This is a good opportunity to blow your own trumpet. Don’t shy away from doing so. It won’t hurt to take your own achievements seriously. 

 

4. How to stay calm

Part of staying calm for your interview is in the preparation. Make sure you get an early night, have your clothes prepared and any paperwork printed at least the night before. This will prevent any major flaps and moments of unwelcome enlightenment as to a missing item while on route to the interview.

Try and complete your interview prep work at least the day before. Check your travel route and make a note of it even if you plan to use a sat nav. That way if it recalculates into infinity or you lose power you’ll know the main roads you’re supposed to be following.

It’s also worth checking out what parking is available in advance – that can really slow you down especially on a hospital property. Get some money out the day before, and take plenty of change with you for the parking meter.

It’s worth taking an umbrella too – but if something does happen to go wrong and you get caught in the rain make light of it. When things don’t go our way it’s a good opportunity to show exactly how calm and positive you can be under pressure.

 

5. Be Professional

If you are applying for a job internally you may already be friendly with your potential employer.  Don’t let your informal relationship influence how you formally prepare for your interview.

Take yourself seriously, your potential employer certainly will, even if they know you from old.

Whether you’re meeting your potential employers for the first time or not, there are other ways you can be communicating your professionalism.

Firstly, have a look at your social media accounts and make sure you’re not giving off a bad impression or attitude. The clothes that you pre-prepare the night before should be smart. Have clean shoes, neat hair. Where possible dress formally in a smart dress or trousers, blouse or shirt. It’ll go a long way.

Some last tips for luck

When you meet your potential new employer at the interview, make eye contact, shake their hand and smile! Interviews are typically an hour long.

One last trick to calm your nerves is to plan something in that you enjoy for when you finish; even if it’s something small like a posh coffee from your favourite café. It gives the mind something more addictive and future based to focus on than the anxiety. You deserve the reward!

Aside from nerves, there should also be the sense that you belong professionally to an environment, and that you can positively connect with the people interviewing you. This will give you a good gauge as to how happy you may be, and to what extent you can grow within your role in that environment.

Remember you are interviewing the employer as much as they are interviewing you; knowing this will help you relax a little. It takes the edge off anxiety as it gives you back some control of the outcome.

If you don’t succeed in getting that new job or internal position, don’t be disheartened. It is much better to find a role that really wants you. It will also give you the time and space to improve your technique. Worst case scenario: you’ve made the mistakes that will be corrected for the more important opportunities coming your way. Good Luck!

Remember to tell your friends you can sign up for free at the banner below.

Fashion

Best Outfits for Day to Night in Women’s Fashion

We’ve searched our listed discounts to bring you the best outfits for day to night in Women’s fashion.

Sometimes you need to seamlessly transition from one environment to another. Whether you need to go from AM to PM or desk to disco, we’re got you covered.

Save the outfit changes and go straight to Supergirl with our links to discounts at Topshop, ASOS, and Amazon.

If you follow the link at the end of the post you’ll find many more big high street names. Here are the most adaptable style ideas right now…

ASOS Reclaimed Vintage Dress 

This monochrome dress from Reclaimed Vintage is versatile, cool and it makes a statement while still retaining its simple elegance.

There is so much you can do with this one – wear it in the day with shoes of any colour and style. It looks great with trainers, pumps and espadrilles.

Take it into the evening with a wedge, stiletto or smart sandal. In terms of its formality this dress is equally at home under a denim jacket, or a smart black jacket.

The unique print and ribbon tie back is made to be seen, however, so ditch that coat as soon as possible – you won’t just be a face in the crowd. Here’s the discount, get it while it’s hot…

Playsuit by Glamourous at Topshop

How can you be both glamourous and comfortable from morning through to midnight? The answer is to get playful in this one-piece suit with bell sleeves and lace inserts.

The cut provides you with a flattering silhouette, a retro feel and you can team it with black or brown suede knee high boots for a night out, or ballerina pumps and a jacket during the day. Black tights look great too if it gets a bit cold.

This is a pretty and comfortable option that’s likely to turn heads and the best part is – it looks and feels effortless.

Topshop Lace Plunge Dress

Sometimes when we take an outfit into the evening it’s hard to retain the element of surprise as you make your entrance. Strong block colours will turn on the spotlight when you need it most.

Go for more coverage with a daytime jacket and make that primary colour pop when you shed your layers as it gets late.

By rights this red dress belongs to the night, but you could wear it at brunch with a denim jacket, a popped collar and some pretty flat sandals.

Lose the jacket, don your heels and paint your lips red for the ultimate makeover moment at the magic hour. Get the look for less with our exclusive discount at Topshop here.

Topshop Black Midi Dress

The black dress is arguably the most versatile of the wardrobe staples and there’s so much you can do with this one.

Sophisticated enough for a formal occasion or cocktails, this midi dress can be dressed down in the day with a thick leather belt – but it works equally well all by itself.

Switch it up with boots or heels, beads or jewels and create the illusion of a whole new look.

This dress will let you stay up late and still look stylish enough for a Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Black Levi’s at Amazon

Dressing down a party frock is one way to go – dressing up your jeans is another. Levi’s last a long time, are cut to perfection, forever cool and you get a beautiful shape to strut in.

This pair in black have a super high waist that allow you to adapt your silhouette. They are pictured here with casual wear but you could easily replace a sloppy jumpers with a sparkly vest tucked in and belted. Just add a pair of boots and go get ‘em.

If you want an alternate colour opt for ink blue jeans to keep it smart, but equally you can dress up a pair of light blue jeans with crisp white tops, shirts and a bit of sparkle. It’s all in how you dress them– wear your hair and make-up as though you’re going out-out – and then do!

Here’s your full range of discounts party girl.

Remember, Health Service Discounts, is free to join and free to use. Sign up at the banner below.

Registration Banner

Discounts Travel

Top 5 NHS Staff Deals and Discounts for September

Here’s our top 5 NHS staff deals and discounts for September in travel, fashion and mobile data.

Can you believe it’s September already?

Time to refresh that wardrobe and beat the blues with a trip somewhere unexpected!

Booking a holiday is a great way to give yourself something new to look forward to.

Roaming the world should be easy with our exclusive SIM deal with 4GB of data. Let’s go!

Eurocamp – Up to 30% NHS discount

13 countries. 2 Mediterranean islands and 160 specially selected locations to choose from.

Find yourself in the city, strolling along the beach at the Atlantic Coast, or at a chateau and so much more with Eurocamp.

Do something totally different and book yourself into a safari tent complete with wooden flooring and a four-poster bed.

If you want to have more of a traditional camping experience, you’ll find some fantastic mobile homes and classic tents for outdoor adventures and some truly breath-taking views.

There’s only one question – can we come with you?

Here’s the link to the discount – we’ll have our bags ready.

Roman Originals – NHS Exclusive 25% off + free next day delivery 

Designed for all occasions from weddings to workwear and those cosy days in between Roman Originals cares about dressing women and bringing the correct look and fit to all ages.

Step out in style with an exclusive 25% off and free next day delivery for NHS.

Feel like yourself and look fabulous at this link.

Travelodge – Exclusive 10% NHS Discount

We’ve teamed up the UKs largest independent hotelier.

Perfect for leisure and business travel alike.

Travelodge is the city centre, sea side and stop off base you need in most major cities and large towns.

If you’ve dreamed of visiting some of the UK’s most inspiring destinations Travelodge are offering a modern and affordable option for you to cut lose in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast, Dublin, Madrid and so many more places on your must-see metropolis bucket list.

Here’s the link to your next adventure at a discount. 

 

Peacocks – Exclusive 20% off

Peacocks offer the best in women’s, men’s, and children’s fashion.

Whether you need a pretty floral Bardot dress, or to get the kids back to school, Peacocks will keep the whole family happy.

Looking cool at an attractive price has never been easier.

Check out the men’s holiday shop for some black Aztek print swim shorts with matching shirt (perfect for the pool bar).

There’s so much to choose from. Make an entrance in their one-shoulder envy dresses, or stay super comfy in their maternity range.

Dress everyone to impress for a lot less with an exclusive 20% discount right here.

Three – Exclusive Sim – 4GB Data for £9

 

Go binge with unlimited data and stream your favourite videos and music.

We have an NHS exclusive discount with the UK’s fastest growing mobile network Three.

They are offering an exclusive advanced SIM plan. That’s 4GB of data for only £9.00 per month.

That comes with ‘all you can eat minutes’ and ‘all you can eat texts’. It’s a buffet of chat over here.

Take those conversations global and ‘go roam around the world’ with their 12 month advanced plan here.

 

Which deals will you be taking advantage of? Tell us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

Tell your friends – you can sign up for free membership at the banner below.