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What Makes up the NHS Uniform?

Both clinical and nonclinical NHS staff may find it difficult to decide what to wear. Each trust has its own style guidelines and uniform guidelines for all levels of NHS workers.
How to start the process of finding your NHS uniform staff

Selecting a new NHS uniform should not be a daunting task. Because there are different levels that can help you reduce your options,

General guidelines for all NHS staff.
Uniform guidelines set out by your employer – your NHS trust.
Your trust has provided a list of options that will suit your clinical or nonclinical role.

All NHS Staff General Principles on Dress

You should first review the NHS guidelines when searching for a healthcare uniform.

These principles are a guideline, but they should be considered as a foundation. Clinicians should know that they are subject to additional guidelines. Staff members should also adhere to their own trust standards.

Uniform – Must adhere to the guidelines. Casual wear is not allowed.
Footwear – Shoes must be closed in all areas and should have low heels.
Uniform Cleanliness – All uniforms should be kept clean and neat, and all clothing must be washed following a single wear in accordance with the care instructions.
Personal hygiene – Hair must be kept clean and tidy. Long hair should also be tied back. You should keep your fingers clean and trim, and avoid using perfumes that are too strong.
ID badges: You should always be easily identifiable. A trust identity badge or a name badge should be worn during your shift.
Jewellery: Must be discreet and small enough to not distract from your work.
Smoking – Staff who smoke in public areas should cover their uniforms, name badges, and other identification.

Your trust’s guidelines for dress

It is important to now consider what your trust permits. Every NHS trust has its own guidelines and an accessory standard. Each has a different colour-coding system to identify job roles.

Your employer should have established the expectations for you when you begin work in your trust. These information is also available on many trust websites, which are listed on this list.

You can always ask your line manager or trust’s HR department for guidance if you aren’t sure what to wear.

What are the options for uniforms available for medical staff?

Wearing scrubs is the best way to minimize the risk of contamination. Scrubs should always be washed at 60o per day according to infection control guidelines. They should also be ironed in accordance with garment care instructions in order to keep them clean and presentable.

You don’t have to conform to the uniform colour of the job title. There are other options.

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Top & Trouser Combo

A tunic over a pair, or a tunic over a pair. The whole outfit can be made up of one solid color or the trousers can be a different colour such as navy, black, or a combination.

For their comfort and convenience during long shifts, many clinical staff prefer to wear separates.

Dress Tunic

Some trusts permit you to wear separates in addition to dresses. Available in striped, classic and mandarin collar options, the dresses must reach below the knee. If it is extremely hot, plain hosiery should be worn.


According to the usual guidelines, all shoes must have a closed-toed and closed heel. Non-lace options can be cleaned to improve infection control.

How to choose the right uniform for you

Protection – Your uniform should be considered a germ barrier. You must ensure that your uniform is sterilised so it can stop the spread of bacteria. You can achieve this by dressing in the appropriate uniform for your job and regularly washing it.
Comfort – Working long hours and working overnights means that comfort is as important as protection. Make sure your footwear isn’t too tight and that it doesn’t rub. These are the little things that can make or break your mood while on shift.
Personal Preference – In the end, you will have to decide what suits you best. Some clinicians like to wear a tunic or a dress while others prefer separates.