Moving to Southampton

On this page you'll find information about:

About Southampton

Southampton is a city steeped in maritime history and, after some significant investment it has now become a city rich in culture, the arts and entertainment with numerous galleries, museums, music venues, theatres, bars and restaurants. It’s also close to the spectacular New Forest and the sandy beaches of Bournemouth, and just a short train journey to London (it takes less than an hour and a half to get there). If you’d like to find out more about living and working in the Southampton area visit

Help with relocating

There are a number of companies that can help you to relocate. Robinsons, for example, provide a comprehensive service, which includes home and school searches. You can find out more by visiting or by emailing Emma Trafford at

Staff discounts

As UHS employees you can take advantage of discounts on everything from groceries, furniture, clothing, public transport and restaurants. When you start at the Trust you’ll be able to get access to staffnet (our internal website) which provides details on all the available discounts.

Setting up a UK bank account

You will need to have a UK current (bank) account into which we’ll pay your monthly salary. If one of the UK banks also operate in your home country, their global banking service may be able to help you set up a UK current account before you get here. If this isn’t possible, then you should set up an account as soon as you arrive. 

You can compare different UK bank accounts UK by visiting

You might be asked to provide the following documents when setting up the account:

  • your passport
  • proof of employment (for example, your employment contract)
  • evidence of your UK address (for example, your tenancy agreement or a utility bill).

Your bank will tell you if any other documents are needed.

Once you have opened your bank account, you may need to retain your bank statements for immigration or other purposes. You’ll normally be given a combined cash and debit card which means you can withdraw money from cash machines and pay for any items you buy.  In most large shops you can also ask for ‘cash back’ when you’re buying goods. This is essentially like taking cash out of your account. They’ll add the amount you want to the bill and will hand the amount of cash you wanted to you at the end of the transaction. The total amount of your purchase and the cash you’ve withdrawn will be deducted from your account. 

The bank might also offer you a credit card when you’re setting up your account, or you may have to apply for this separately.

Children’s education

If you have children aged five to 16 years (although children will often begin school at the age of four) and your child was born on or after 1st September 1997 they will need to remain in some sort of education or training until they turn 18.

Children start and progress through school years as follows:

  • Primary school: for pupils aged 4-11
  • Secondary school: for pupils aged 11–16 (most secondary schools have sixth forms for those aged 16–18)

Children leaving school at the age of 16 must remain in some form of education or training until they are 18 years old through either work-based learning, such as an apprenticeship, or part-time education or training or volunteering for more than 20 hours a week.

The UK government’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (known as Ofsted) is responsible for regulating and inspecting schools and other childcare providers. Ofsted produces inspection reports every few years, which are published on their website for you to view. Visit to find out more.

Pre-school childcare

If you have young children who aren’t yet at school, you’ll have priority access to Trust Taplins day nursery which is owned and run by University Hospital Southampton. Find out more

UK taxes and benefits


For specific advice on any visas you might need in order to work in the UK, please contact our human resources team: 

  • Email:
  • Telephone: 023 8120 6969

Income tax

Moving to the UK may affect your tax status in your home country. However, the UK rules governing employees who are not nationals of the UK are relatively straightforward. Employees earning above a certain threshold amount (set by the government) will normally pay PAYE (‘Pay As You Earn’) income tax and National Insurance contributions (‘NICs’) whilst working in the UK.

If you’re joining us from overseas you should complete the ‘Starter Checklist’, available online at the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website.  Once you’ve completed the form you should print it, sign it and then send it to the payroll team. The information provided on the ‘Starter Checklist’ form will determine which tax code should be applied, as per the HMRC guidelines.

Council tax

You will need to pay a council tax to the local government within the area that you’re living. For more detail on this see the ‘Where to stay – additional costs’ section.

National insurance (NI)

If you’re over the age of 16 and below the state pension age, and you’re earning above a certain threshold amount (set by the government), you will need to pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs). NICs are collected by the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) from your monthly pay and go towards state benefits, such as the National Health Service (NHS) and the state pension.

If you’re coming to work in the UK you will need to get a National Insurance (NI) number (a number assigned to you personally so that HMRC can track the payments you make. You can only apply for a number once you’ve arrived in the UK. Call the National Insurance number application line on 0345 600 0643. Once you have a national insurance number you’ll need to supply this to the payroll team at UHS.

Special rules apply for employees coming from the European Economic Area (EEA), or those countries with which the UK has reciprocal agreements, and further details can be found on the HRMC website.

State benefits in the UK

There are many state benefits available to individuals who qualify for financial help. For example, there may be benefits available to carers, disabled persons and families. Further information, including eligibility criteria, can be found on the government’s website.

Parents with children under the age of 16 (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training) may qualify for child benefit. This state benefit is a tax-free payment available to help with the cost of bringing up children. Eligibility rules and all further information specifically for those who have moved to the UK from overseas can be found on the government’s website. If you are on any visa, you’re unlikely to be able to claim state benefits (such as child benefit).


Although you’re coming to work for our National Health Service (NHS) you still need to register to be part of it as a patient. When you arrive here you should register with your local doctor (known as a GP) and a dentist. The NHS Choices website enables you to search for doctors and dentists near to where you live, but you’ll need the postcode of your new UK home.

Voting in government and local elections

If you’re from an EU or Commonwealth country then you can register to vote in elections and referendums in the UK. To register visit the electoral register.

Moving pets to the UK

For information on bringing animals into the UK, please visit the government’s website.

AirPets international website also offers information and services for importing and exporting pets.

Although pets are often not allowed in rented properties, you can find pet-friendly properties by visiting

Importing a car and car registration

If you have a car that you’d like bring to the UK you’ll need to follow the guidance provided by the UK government. Visit the government’s website to find out more about importing your car and driving in the UK.