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NHS Scotland: national uniform consultation

6 November 2008 - 3:20pm

An update on the national uniform consultation

Over 600 responses, including one from the CSP, were received regarding the national uniform consultation and a compromise has now been reached. Several key issues arose around the proposed options for AHPs, and the government was seeking to establish a compromise to allow them to proceed within their timescales for tendering and procurement. A paper from the Scottish Workforce and Governance Committee outlining the responses to the public consultation and the proposed new uniform can be downloaded by clicking on the link at the foot of this page. Some of the main points are:

  • the principal objective of the policy is to promote a corporate image for NHSScotland, make it easier for patients to identify staff and enable procurement of a uniform which is of high quality, fit for purpose and best value;
  • the consultation firmly endorsed the principle of a national uniform, with 88% of respondents agreeing that there was a need for the greater simplicity and consistency that a national set would provide;
  • the vast majority of the Boards, unions and professional bodies who commented endorsed the proposed tunic style;
  • the colour scheme for AHP uniforms was the most contentious issue. Although there was considerable support for the trio of blues (where all clinical staff wear blue, with depth of shade denoting seniority) organisations representing AHPs were least satisfied with these proposals, citing the need for a distinct AHP professional identity;
  • the option of burgundy was met with almost universal resistance. Instead, a degree of support for the clinical blue was expressed, along with a desire to retain a distinct identity;
  • given calls for a separate identity, strong resistance to burgundy and lilac, and calls to be positioned as part of the clinical team in blues, a compromise has been developed - this comprises a quartet of blues where registered AHPS would wear Mediterranean blue. All support workers would adopt the light (sky) blue. This preserves a simplified colour scheme which can be easily communicated to patients/carers.



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