Cost of Living in London as a CapitalNurse

One of the most common questions we get from prospective candidates is “Can I afford to live in London?” There is the expectation that the cost of living in London is too high combined with the starting salary for Nurses, Midwives, and Allied Health Professionals makes London unaffordable.

But the answer is more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no” response.

CapitalNurse and CapitalMidwife staff receive High Cost Area Supplements (HCAS) to their salary, designed to make living in London more affordable. This HCAS is in addition to their base salary and ranges from 5% in the Fringe zones up to 20% in Inner London. You can calculate your base salary based on Band and years of NHS experience by visiting this NHS pay calculator.

Let’s also look at some average expenses that someone living in London can expect and then you can decide for yourself if London is right for you.

High Cost Area Supplements (HCAS)

Inner London

£ 0
20% Salary Supplement

£27,055 Band 5 salary + £5,411 HCAS

Outer London

£ 0
15% Salary Supplement

£27,055 Band 5 salary + £4,108 HCAS

Fringe

£ 0
5% Salary Supplement

£27,055 Band 5 salary + £1,353 HCAS

Everyday Expenses

Budgeting how much expenses will cost in London will vary greatly, depending on your family situation and social-life needs. Someone living alone in a studio flat who goes out for a nice meal once a week will have different needs compared to a family of four in a two bedroom flat and primarily prepares home-cooked meals. Everyone’s situation is unique, but we can look at some estimates and compare.

The website Wise.com estimates that the average single person living in London will have an expected cost of living of £11,028 per year, whereas a family of four in London should expect a cost of living of £38,352. Both these estimates do not include the cost of rent, and only take into account everyday expenses, such as food, shopping, education, transportation, and some entertainment. Notice that healthcare is not among these expenses, because all residents of the UK are eligible for free healthcare from the publicly funded National Health System (NHS).

Portrait of asian physiotherapist carer helping and playing with special disabled child health problem by doing exercises sitting in wheelchair in rehabilitation clinic.

Cost of Living Comparison (excluding Rent)

Single Person
(per year)

4 person family
(per year)

London

£11,028

single person
£11,028 per year
 

£38,352

4 person family
£38,352 per year

Manchester

£8,736

single person
£8,736 per year
 

£30,096

4 person family
£30,096 per year

Edinburgh

£8,136

single person
£8,136 per year
 

£28,560

4 person family
£28,560 per year

Cardiff

£8,160

single person
£8,160 per year
 

£27,828

4 person family
£27,828 per year

Housing and Accommodation

It is everybody’s dream to own their own home, and with hard work, budgeting and savings, it can be achievable. But for new international nurses and midwives arriving from overseas, this is usually a dream that will take a few years of planning and preparation. So, we will focus on renting, as that is the most common situation for NEU candidates.

While you are preparing for your OSCE, you will receive free or discounted accommodation provided by your Trust. The duration of the accommodation varies by Trust from 1 month to 12 months. Many of our NHS Trusts have onboarding departments who will help you initially settle, and during this time these departments will help you look for rental properties that are a reasonable commuting distance to the Trust and within your budget. If your Trust does not have a department with these services, or you wish to search on your own accommodations, there are many online resources, such as RightMove.co.uk, which help make finding a flat easier than it has ever been before.

Rent Comparison (cost per month)

1 bedroom flat
(city centre)

1 bedroom flat
(outside of city centre)

3 bedroom flat
(city centre)

3 bedroom flat
(outside of city centre)

London

£1,799

1 bedroom flat (centre)
£1,799 per month
 

£1,309

1 bedroom flat (suburbs)
£1,309 per month
 

£3,309

3 bedroom flat (centre)
£3,309 per month
 

£2,183

3 bedroom flat (suburbs)
£2,183 per month

Manchester

£925

1 bedroom flat (centre)
£925 per month
 

£650

1 bedroom flat (suburbs)
£650 per month
 

£1,738

3 bedroom flat (centre)
£1,738 per month
 

£1,050

3 bedroom flat (suburbs)
£1,050 per month

Edinburgh

£926

1 bedroom flat (centre)
£926 per month
 

£717

1 bedroom flat (suburbs)
£717 per month
 

£1,845

3 bedroom flat (centre)
£1,845 per month
 

£1,110

3 bedroom flat (suburbs)
£1,110 per month

Cardiff

£763

1 bedroom flat (centre)
£763 per month
 

£613

1 bedroom flat (suburbs)
£613 per month
 

£1,717

3 bedroom flat (centre)
£1,717 per month
 

£1,008

3 bedroom flat (suburbs)
£1,008 per month

Can I afford to live in London?

There are still many considerations when making the decision whether or not London is right for you. This guide is designed to give you a general overview of your many options to consider.

If you are a single person starting as a Band 5 nurse in Inner London, and your 1 bedroom flat is outside the city centre, so you commute to work every day, then living in London should be very affordable. Some nurses become roommates with nursing colleagues to split the cost of a 2 bedroom flat, making both their accommodations even more affordable.

If you are a four person family with one income coming from a nurse working Outer London and another working Fringe London, and you live in a 3 bedroom flat is outside the city centre, so you both commute into work, you may be able afford London depending on your other expenses, such as childcare.

Ultimately, the decision is yours to make. With the help of this guide, you can start to consider your options.

Closeup of a support hands. Closeup shot of a young woman holding a senior man's hands in comfort. Female carer holding hands of senior man

Looking for more information?

If you need more information or have questions about your specific situation, please consider emailing your application to edyta@neuprofessionals.co.uk or submitting your application. You will be teamed up with a dedicated recruitment consultant who will discuss with you your family situation and get to know your needs and wants, so they can find a Trust where you can grow professionally in a location where you can be happy and succeed.

If you think London might be right for you, we encourage you to review the job postings currently available for CapitalNurse or CapitalMidwife. If you find a job vacancy that fits your skills and experience, apply today! London awaits, are you ready to answer the call?

Register with Us Today!

Please write your name as it appears on your passport
Please select the country where you are currently practising as a Registered Nurse
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Please provide a short (max 200 word) summary of your career to-date (post registration) including wards / departments / clinics you have worked on and which patient conditions you have caring experience.