I'm surprised that DanB is the only one to suggest what seems to be the best solution to a work vs PhD dilemma - part-time study. I'd recommend that you take the NHS job and do a PhD on the side. Best of both worlds - rat race career, money etc + a higher calling - a long-term project to aspire to and work towards that keeps your mind sharp and sets you above your fellow corporate drones. Make it clear to your boss that your PhD is a side-hobby that will not affect your office work, and you'd be surprised how supportive many employers can be.
I'm about 24 months into what will be a 72-month PhD and still loving it - progress is slow and I work on my project in stops and starts, but it's starting to take shape and I'm confident that I'll get there in the end, just in twice the time a full-time student would take. Meanwhile, I'm working full-time and don't feel racked with worry about delaying my entry into the workforce or financial problems... just last week I bought my first home :) The real reward of this double-life, though, is having this wonderful side-project to work towards, quietly setting me apart from the wage-slaves who are driven only by their careers.
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