A guide to living expenses for an NHS employee

  • March 28, 2024

Navigating the financial landscape as an NHS employee, understanding various aspects, from pension contributions to childcare costs and general living expenses. In this blog, we'll break down essential information to help you manage your finances effectively.

Pension Contributions:
As an NHS employee, you contribute 13.5% of your income to the NHS Pension Scheme, with the NHS topping this up by 20.6%. These contributions are tax-free, reducing your taxable income. You can access a portion of your pension pot at the age of 55, with the remainder available upon retirement.

Childcare Costs:
Childcare options such as after-school clubs are available at most UK schools, typically running from 3:00 pm to 6:15 pm. Costs range from £10 to £20 per day on average, and you can utilize the tax-free childcare scheme to save up to 20% (up to £2,000 annually) on these expenses. Budgeting around £2,000 to £3,000 per year for part-time childcare is advisable.

Rents and Bills:
The cost of living in the UK, including rents and bills, varies by location. For instance, in areas like Bournemouth and Poole, rent for a 2-bed flat or terraced house near the hospital might range from £1,200 to £1,400 per month. Additional monthly expenses, including council tax, utilities, and internet, can total around £1,750 to £1,800.

General Costs:
Budgeting for phone contracts, groceries, and transportation is essential. Phone contracts typically range from £10 to £20 per month, while groceries may cost around £350 to £400 monthly for a healthy balanced diet. Transportation expenses, including car ownership costs and fuel, should also be considered.

Navigating Financial Decisions:
Opting out of the NHS Pension Scheme to increase take-home pay may seem tempting, but it's generally not advisable. Earning above £100,000 annually can result in losing tax-free allowances and government childcare benefits. Pensions become increasingly valuable in managing taxable income, particularly for senior doctors and consultants.

Managing finances as an NHS employee requires careful planning and consideration of various expenses, including pension contributions, childcare costs, rent, bills, and general living expenses. By understanding these financial aspects, you can make informed decisions to ensure financial stability and well-being throughout your career.


IMG Jobs 

Search and find live NHS doctor jobs in the UK

IMG Resources

Read more useful articles on finding an NHS trust doctor job, pay scales & doctor’s salary in the UK, relocation and much more!  

Get in Touch

Don’t hesitate to get in touch using the buttons above (and below) to discuss doctor job options in the NHS, including discussions regarding a typical doctor's salary in the UK and the most suitable hospital locations for you.

For regular news and updates, follow IMG Connect on social media using the links below: 




Relevant Jobs

100,000 +
A Welsh Health Board are looking to appoint an experienced consultant histopathologist to work in a joint clinical and educational supervisor to four innovative CESR Fellows, all FRCPath Histopathology holders. 

This is a unique opportunity to work in a developing initiative that will bring immense social good to the local the people of Wales. 

Short / mid / long-term ambitions for this role.

Short-term, there is the opportunity to work a close group of four international doctors, with specialist qualifications in histopathology including FRCPath. You\'ll have the opportunity to shape the careers of hungry pathologists ready to absorb all the knowledge and experience from an experienced NHS colleague like yourself.

Mid-term you\'ll be jointly responsible for the successful portfolio submissions for these individuals, helping the laboratory at Glangwili General Hospital to establish a newly qualified consultant team to provide stability and excellent pathological services for the patients of Wales, UK.

Long-term, the potential is enormous. As part of ‘A Regional Collaborative for Health’ or ARCH a regional hub for South and West Wales is being built in Swansea, to house a 30-35 consultant lead service for histopathology alone. Fully digitalised regional services for half the Welsh landmass would be provided via one central and digitalised hub. 

Life in the area

It\'s a beautiful life with Wales offering beaches, beautiful forest, lakes and mountains all available to you in your free-time. It\'s a low cost of living and a a bit of a dream for the right person. We can chat more about that over our call. 
93,666 - 126,281
IMG Connect are representing a Southern-based molecular oncology facility with a fully equipped laboratory, integrated process platforms, an in-house bioinformatics team, and a huge genetic database for precise and updated reporting.

The UK Lab is based in Surrey, and the facility is ISO 15189 accredited and ISO 27001 certified.

The department provides the latest technology and several years of extensive research offering highly effective treatment solutions to cancer patients for whom, multiple lines of treatment have failed.

The UK lab receives samples that are received from private practices around the UK, Europe and USA. 


With roughly two hours of work needed per day, mostly remote, with twice weekly attendance onsite likely required, the pathologists responsibilities will be along the lines of the below.
  • Authorisation of reports (molecular and tissue)
  • Sectioning slides / assessing tumour content - to help identify which sections can be used for processing samples.
  • Approving & signing reports.
    • Signing out molecular reports - training will be given.
    • Signing out solid organ cancer reports
    • Turnaround time is required within 24-hours. 
 Any successful candidate will be given a laptop and training to enable successful completion of the role.

  • GMC registration 
  • Right to work in the UK
  • Ability to travel twice per week to Surrey, UK.
  • FRCPath or Specialist Registration is not required for this post
93,666 - 126,281

An excellent opportunity to join the dynamic team at an esteemed organization recognized for its excellence by the CQC. This is an opportune moment to become part of the Acute Medicine and Medicine Specialties Teams. With a strong history of achievements, they are committed to delivering exceptional patient-centered care. They seek a passionate and driven Acute and General Physicians to contribute to their mission of providing top-tier medical care across various clinical settings. This is a high performing and supportive department for overseas doctors new to the NHS, or UK-based doctors looking to further careers in the UK.

This is a great opportunity for overseas Consultants who want to establish themselves in the NHS, and grow their consultant career. The post is suitable for candidates holding specialisation in the EEA, or for experienced IMGs looking to complete CESR.

What is the NHS Foundation Trust like?

The NHS Foundation Trust stands as one of the nation\'s largest integrated healthcare organizations, delivering both hospital and community services to a populace exceeding 650,000 individuals. Renowned for their ambition and innovation, they boast a skilled workforce comprising over 7,000 dedicated colleagues. Operating across two acute sites for hospital services and encompassing centers and community hospitals in six towns for planned care, they extend their services even to patients\' residences.

Recognized as a high-performing entity with a history of accomplishments, the Trust has functioned as an integrated acute and community services provider since 2011 and achieved foundation trust status in 2007. Guided by their strategic framework \"Our Patients Matter,\" they articulate their short- and long-term objectives and delineate the path to their realization. This framework underscores their commitment to providing the safest, most compassionate, and seamlessly coordinated care to the communities they serve.

Within this NHS Foundation Trust, medical professionals are presented with a plethora of career prospects and exposure to diverse care settings rarely encountered elsewhere. Additionally, they have the opportunity to reside and practice in some of the most culturally rich and picturesque locations across the country!

What is the Department & Team like?

Within the Trust, there are 5 Care Groups: Urgent & Emergency Care, Integrated Medical Specialties, Surgery, Family Health, and Clinical Specialist Services. The Acute Care Team is housed under the Urgent & Emergency Care division. The Acute & General Medicine Department prides itself on delivering comprehensive and compassionate care to patients across a wide spectrum of medical conditions. Staffed by a dedicated team of consultants and junior doctors, the department ensures round-the-clock coverage to meet the needs of their patients. Their department handles a diverse range of cases, including but not limited to respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, and infectious diseases. With access to state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment facilities, including advanced imaging technologies and specialist clinics, they are equipped to provide timely and effective care to their patients.

The Acute & General Medicine Department boasts modern and well-equipped facilities, designed to optimize patient care and comfort. They have a 30-bedded Acute Medical Assessment Unit. On average, their department handles a significant number of acute and general medicine cases each year, reflecting the trust and confidence placed in their services by the community they serve. They prioritize patient safety, quality of care, and efficient service delivery, ensuring that each patient receives personalized attention and tailored treatment plans to facilitate their recovery and well-being.

The unit is adequately staffed and the working shifts are designed to ensure more doctors are present during the busy period of the day i.e. late evenings. They address the busy winter months by arranging extra locum cover during this busy period. In addition to the acute medicine registrar(s), there is a middle grade doctor, 1 IMT doctor and 4 FY1 doctors with staggered shifts throughout the day. In addition, there will be an on call registrar and 2 on call IMT doctors with staggered shifts. The night team comprises of one registrar, two FY2/IMT and one FY1 supported by an outreach nurse on most nights. 

What is life like in the area?

The North East of the UK offers a diverse mix of rural and urban settings, providing doctors with a range of living options. Residents can explore stunning coastal areas like Northumberland\'s beaches or venture inland to scenic national parks such as the North Pennines. The region is home to respected schools and universities, including Newcastle University. Transportation links are robust, with efficient road and rail networks connecting residents to major cities like Newcastle, Durham, and Sunderland, as well as international airports. Housing options range from quaint cottages in picturesque villages to modern apartments in vibrant city centers, catering to various lifestyles.

Career Development & Opportunities Available

EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Acute & General Medicine

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCP
  • Experience of working in Acute & General Medicine

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Acute & General Medicine

We are currently looking for an experienced Clinical Oncologist, who works with both chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments for a large acute hospital in the Midlands, England.

You\'d be joining a team of 8 clinical and 2 medical oncology consultants at the modern Oncology Centre (opened in mid 2010\'s), to help support and develop site-specific services in outpatient and chemotherapy as part of the development of the centre. 

There are 3 Elekta LINACS with VMAT and IGRT, using Mosaiq and Raystation for RT planning on site, along with 35 chemo day chairs used across 3 hospitals under this NHS trust.


  • FRCR Clinical Oncology or equivalent
  • Excellent english language skills
  • Extensive experience as a consultant oncologist (UK or overseas experience)

12 - 24 months fixed term (subject to be renewed)


  • Attractive salary and relocation package
  • Training and development opportunities
  • CESR support for those eligible
  • Tier 2 Health and Care Visa (sponsorship for the whole family)
  • Guidance regarding the CV and full interview preparation
  • Assistance regarding the GMC registration, visa, accommodation and transportation by an experienced onboarding specialist
  • Complete IMG Relocation service from start to finish of process

Locum Consultant

Specialty & Special Interests:
Clinical Oncology with primary interest in Gynaecological and Upper GI cancers

93,666 - 126,281

An exciting opportunity for an experienced Consultant in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry to join an award winning CAMHS inpatient unit. The team supports each other in balancing high quality patient care while you are pursuing your own special interests. The team is part of an NHS Foundation Trust that is a leading Trust in mental health research. The Trust was rated as \"good\" overall by the CQC in 2019. The post if suitable for overseas consultants, including candidates who are pursuing CESR. Specialists in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry holding a specialist certification would be suitable for this post, based on experience entering at either Specialty Doctor or Consultant grade. 

Overseas applications from experienced Specialty Doctors and Consultants are welcomed. 


The NHS Foundation Trust is the leading trust in mental health research. They provide excellent opportunities for professional development. The NHS Foundation Trust provides a broad range of community and inpatient mental health services, community services (including therapies), learning disability services, healthy lifestyle support and addictions services to a population of 765,000 people of all ages who live within areas of more than 4,700 square kilometres.

The Trust employs approximately 2,800 staff across more than 79 sites at locations throughout 4 towns. Their budgeted income for 2022/2023 is £186m. The NHS Foundation Trust works closely with major academic partners which ensures the nurturing of workforce of tomorrow\'s doctors, nurses and other health professionals. They aim to be a leading provider of integrated health services, recognised for the care compassion and commitment of their staff and known as a great employer and a valued partner.

The way they deliver their services has a direct bearing on their patients and carers’ experience of the Trust and, most importantly of all, their health. The Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust aim to provide the best services they can and constantly look at how they can improve them aspiring to excellence and be the best that they can be. They offer a wide range of benefits to help support a healthy work-life balance and support their employees\' overall health & wellbeing.


The service is a team of excellent and forward thinking doctors consisting of: psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, creative therapists and family therapists. There is currently funding for 4.8 WTE Community Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists. The service aims to keep children and adolescents at home with increased support if possible. The Trust provides a comprehensive Specialist Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service for young people that are 19 years and under. 

The department has a Crisis Team that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While the Home Treatment (Intensive Intervention Team) aims to work from 8AM to 6PM, 7 days a week. The services is provided at various locations across the town in order to be able to offer families an accessible and convenient service within a less stigmatising and less threatening environment. There is also a team that works with people aged between 14 and 65, who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis or might be at risk of developing psychosis.

The post holder expected to make assessment of referrals/admissions. The post holder will liaise and collaboratively work with other services/agencies. The successful candidate is expected to have a care plan and treatment formulation, guidance on evidence-based treatment and effectiveness.


Blessed with rural beauty, bustling towns and a dramatic coastline, the town makes a wonderful place to call home. Affordable property prices make living here even more appealing, with luxurious city-centre apartments, quiet suburban new builds and charming country cottages to choose from. Some of the UK’s finest beaches are located right here. Affordable property prices make living here even more appealing, with luxurious city-centre apartments, quiet suburban new builds and charming country cottages to choose from. 

The town is known for its quirky narrow streets and bustling harbour overlooked by the striking Gothic ruins. It is a fascinating town, unlike any other. You will enjoy the quirky fishing villages, the unspoilt sandy beaches, the staggering views from the clifftops, and the popular seaside resorts. You will enjoy the 800km of bridleways that weave through the peaceful and colourful countryside of the North York Moors National Park.


With an extremely active education/teaching programme supported by the consultant team, there is opportunity to work towards and complete CESR, exams, get involved in active research and many aspects of CPD. 

Participation in research and educational activities will be encouraged.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Board Certified Specialist in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT

Search Vacancies

Ask a question

Check your salary

error: Content is protected !!