This site is intended for health professionals only

New uniform for nurses in Scotland

Community nurses in Scotland will be required to wear a standard uniform under new dress code rules.

The new uniform will be introduced to all NHS staff in Scotland so that workers are comfortable and more recognisable to the public.

Health staff will now wear a standard tunic and trouser uniform. Under the new dress code doctors will no longer be allowed to wear the traditional white coat.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has welcomed the decision saying it will reduce costs and the risk of infection.

The new uniform was unveiled by the Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where staff have been trialling the designs.

The tunic will be available in four shades of blue for clinical staff from dental nurses to physiotherapists. Support workers, such as catering staff, will wear a tunic in one of two shades of green. The new uniforms will be introduced next autumn in a bid to "promote a professional corporate image".

The RCN's Norman Provan welcomed the changes. He said: "The new uniforms will enable consistency across Scotland's health boards and will allow patients to clearly identify nursing staff."

Copyright © Press Association 2008

Royal College of Nursing

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"The new uniform is totally impractical for community nurse use especially bearing in mind the winter we have just come through. Has anybody informed the public that we have downgraded from silver impregnated anti-infection cloth to plain polycotton of an inferior quality?" - Name and address supplied

"It looks unprofessional and it's unclear who are the trained and untrained nurses. A badge with strips would be helpful" – J Walker, Scotland

"I agree with Lynne Gray, Lancashire [below]. However, I do pose the question: 'Where did they find the budget to purchase these?' Again and again, we apply a sticking  plaster on a very large wound and take the easy option of changing the visable without tackling the route cause. What about: reducing the percentages of bed occupation at any given time to allow for cleaning and preparation for another patient; looking at the  sickness rate of healthcare professionals and low moral among all those in the care profession; using the extra finances to bring staffing levels to an acceptable level, allowing for all care staff to feel valued, and knowing that they have met the needs of those in their care to the standard they deserve? As for the comment from the RCN, nursing staff can only be identified if there are sufficient numbers to be visable" – Elaine Wilson, South Wales

"Clearly identifiable nursing staff! How innovative! Wait a moment, I am having an episode of deja-vu ..." – Lynne Gray, Lancashire