Guidance on uniform and workwear policies for NHS employers | National Resource for Infection Control (NRIC)

Guidance on uniform and workwear policies for NHS employers

Best practice
In 2007, the Department published 'Uniforms and Workwear: an evidence base for developing local practice'. This revision takes account of comments and feedback from employers and staff as local policies have been implemented. It re-affirms the principles of the original guidance with particular reference to staff dress during direct patient care activity In 2007, the Department of Health published the guidance document: Uniforms and workwear: An evidence base for developing local policy. Although the phrase never appeared in the text, it has become widely known as the ‘bare below the elbows’ guidance. Since its publication, the guidance has been widely adopted throughout the NHS. It has been used to support the specific requirements of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 Code of Practice relating to uniform and workwear policies, and the need to ensure that they support effective hand hygiene. The development of local uniform policies and dress codes remains the responsibility of individual organisations. Supersedes 'Uniforms and workwear: An evidence base for developing local policy' Note: This guidance does not cover Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worn specifically to protect staff against one or more risks to their health or safety, for example disposable aprons. Trusts will need to decide locally where to draw the line between uniforms and PPE. This guidance sets out principles that are applicable to all four countries of the UK. Individual countries may have developed specific policy positions or guidance in relation to uniforms or work wear and readers should always refer to their local organisational policies in the first instance.
NHS England