It can be difficult for NHS staff, both clinicians and non-clinical, to choose the right clothes. All levels of NHS workers follow their own uniform guidelines. Every trust follows slightly different rules.
How to get started in the process for finding your NHS staff uniform
When choosing a new NHS uniform, it is important that you narrow your choices. This is because you can gradually reduce your options by using different guidelines.
General guidelines to all NHS staff.
Your specific employer will set the guidelines.
The trust will list the options available to you for your specific role in clinical or nonclinical medicine.
All NHS Staff General Principles to Dress
Recall the NHS uniform guidelines before you start looking for a brand new healthcare uniform.
While these are only general principles, it should be viewed as a foundation. Note that clinical staff will be subjected to additional guidelines. All staff should adhere to their trust’s uniform standards.
Uniforms – Please follow the guidelines. Casual clothing is not allowed.
Footwear – All areas must have closed shoes and low heels.
Uniform Cleanliness. All uniform must be spotless and must be washed once worn in compliance with all care instructions.
Personal hygiene – Hair should be neatly cut and all hair should remain clean. It is important to keep your fingernails clean and cut short.
ID badges – You must always be easily identified, so you must wear an identity badge (trust identification badge) and a name tag throughout your shift.
Jewellery- Should be discrete, discreet, and not impede your work.
Smoking – Employees who smoke must not expose their uniforms or name badges to the public.
Your trust’s rules for dressing
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Make sure to review the guidelines of your trust. Each NHS trust has its own uniform guidelines and accessories, as well as a different colour-coding system specific to job roles.
Your employer should have stated the expected standards for you when your work began at your trust. You will find these information on the websites of many trusts.
Talk to your trust’s HR department if you’re ever unsure what you should wear.
What uniform options can you offer your staff in the clinic?
They should be worn because they are comfortable and reduce the chance of contamination. Scrubs must be washed daily at 60o according to the guidelines for infection control.
While your scrubs should be the same color as your job title you are working for, there are several options.
Top & Trouser Combined
A tunic and trousers, or a shirt and trousers. The entire outfit may be in one color, or the trousers can contrast with it such as black and navy.
Most clinical staff prefer separations because they are more comfortable during long shifts.
Some trusts offer the option of separates. You can choose from striped, classic or mandarin collar dresses. However, they must be shorter than the knee.
A standard rule is that all shoes must have closed-toes and closed heels. Non-lace options allow for cleaning, which helps to control infection.
What should you consider when purchasing a uniform
Protection – Think of your uniform’s role as a germ-barrier. It must be sterilised in order to stop the spread or bacteria. Make sure you have the right uniform and wash it often.
Comfort – The importance of comfort for long hours and night shifts is as important to you as the protection. You should wear shoes that don’t rub and scrubs with a tight fit. These small details can make or ruin your mood on the shift.
Personal Preferences – It is up to you what suits you the best. Some clinicians prefer to wear a tunic gown, while others prefer to wear separates.