NHS considers standardised national nursing uniform

National nursing uniforms are already in place across Scotland and Wales after being recommended by the Francis Report.

Matt Bodell
14 April 2021

A blue “smart scrub tunic” was shown to be favoured by nurses.

The NHS is currently considering implementing standardised uniforms for nursing staff and other healthcare workers.


Staff working in clinical roles across the health service in England are now being asked to take part in a seven week consultation on the proposals.

With significant variation in the styles and colours used by each individual profession between different NHS trusts, the 2013 Francis Report recommended concluded that a standardised approach could improve patient safety.

The consultation document reveals that a blue “smart scrub tunic” was shown to be favoured by nurses in recent workshops, moving from pale blue for junior staff to dark blue for the most senior.

Other colours have been suggested for matrons, specialist nurses, advanced clinical practitioners and heads of nursing.



Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England said: “Patients have told us that, for them, contact with several NHS professionals in a hospital setting can sometimes feel confusing, frequently due to not knowing who does which role.

“We want patients and the public to be able to easily identify which nursing, midwifery or care professional is providing their care. Keeping patients and staff safe is fundamental to this consultation so please have your say.”

A survey of the public revealed that 88% of patients think that the same uniforms should be worn nationally with 55% claiming they were unable to easily identify senior members of staff from their uniforms.

National uniforms are already in place across Scotland and Wales.


You can find out more about the proposals and take part in the consultation here. 

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