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National Healthcare Uniform – Frequently Asked Questions

Following feedback on the open consultation we have identified some themes and frequently asked questions:

1. What are the benefits of a national NHS uniform?

The five key objectives and potential benefits of this project are:
·       Improved patient safety
·       Enhanced professional image
·       Inclusion across the diverse workforce
·       Value for money
·       Sustainability.

2. Have you considered diversity in the workforce?

Yes. The NHS workforce reflects the diverse communities that they take care of across the country.

This uniform created for the future encompasses and celebrates the differences across our varied workforce. The design meets the needs of a modern, diverse, and inclusive health service. It is culturally sensitive and does not discriminate against anybody on the grounds of age, disability, gender, pregnancy, relationships, race, religion, or beliefs; allowing all NHS employees to thrive.

3. Will the proposed national uniform be worn by the whole NHS workforce?

Most healthcare professionals working in the NHS wear a uniform – where this is the case, we want to offer a uniform that is well designed, high quality and inclusive for all. The scope of this project at this stage is for those working in clinical roles and is focused on healthcare assistants, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals together forming the majority of groups wearing uniforms. We appreciate and recognise the importance of uniforms for other clinical and non-clinical roles and hope to look into this in the future.

4. Will the proposed uniform also be for healthcare professionals working in the community?

Yes, if these groups currently wear a uniform and are part of the NHS workforce. It has been suggested that having uniform consistency across all settings could help provide better understanding across the entire patient pathway. 

5. Does this proposal mean everyone will be wearing a uniform in the future?

We are aware that there are many clinical settings where it is not deemed appropriate to wear a uniform because of the effect this may have on a patient. It is not the intention of this proposal to change that.

6. Will the uniform have pockets?

The smart scrub and dress will have two waist pockets and one breast pockets, the trousers and shorts will have two cargo style pockets.

7. Why have you launched the National Healthcare Uniform Consultation now?

When we launched the consultation in April 2022, we knew that taking some time out of incredibly busy days and nights for our NHS colleagues, might be difficult and still is. We questioned ourselves if this was the right time. However, as NHS Supply Chain we have the responsibility to ensure the NHS has a compliant contract in place for uniforms to enable the NHS to provide the fit-for-purpose garments our NHS workforce deserves. Our aim is to develop a uniform that is aligned with this objective.

8. What will be the base colour of the Allied Health Professionals smart scrub style tunic top?

A survey was launched in January giving Allied Health professions across the NHS the opportunity to input on their proposed base colour. The survey received an overwhelming response with 26,804 AHPs taking part, representing a response rate of 67% of the total AHP workforce in England. 

Due to the strength of the responses, it was decided that it was not appropriate to adopt a single base colourway for all AHPs as this would not reflect the professions preferences correctly. It was therefore agreed to present a choice for each profession to adopt either white or dark magenta as the base colour.

9. When will the colourways for the different trims of the tunic tops be announced?

After extensive consultation with NHS Trusts and professional bodies, we are in the final stages of seeking feedback from all professional leads and NHS England. We will be able to share the agreed colourways within the coming weeks.

10. Will there be personalised embroidery on the uniforms?

As embroidery can cost up to 30% of the overall garment cost, the decision has been made to not include personalised embroidery. It will also enable the wearer to take the garments with them should they work in another setting. The smart scrub and dress will feature the NHS logo and the trousers and shorts will have an NHS tax tab included.

11. Will the new uniforms fit correctly and be comfortable?

We want to offer a uniform that is well designed, high quality and inclusive for all. We are working very closely with our suppliers and specialists to do this and are undertaking extensive wearer trials with NHS staff from different professions to ensure this uniform is the best possible fit and truly represents the diversity of the NHS workforce.

12. Will the National Healthcare uniform cost the NHS more?

No. By harnessing the full purchasing power of the NHS and standardising our design, materials and colours we are able to reduce the cost of uniforms at the same time as ensuring we procure a high quality garment which meets the needs of our Healthcare Professionals. The actual saving to be made by each trust will vary depending on the current price, but across England we can deliver around 30% savings. This equates to around £10 million over three years if we all adopt the new uniform.

13. When will the National Healthcare uniform be ready?

The National Healthcare Uniform framework is planned to launch in Autumn 2023 and early adopters will be looking to place orders for delivery in early 2024. If you would like to register your interest in adopting the uniform within your trust please get in touch with us via

See our Downloads ▼ section for further information around each of the areas above.

Downloads ▼

  • National Healthcare Uniform Proposal

    A PDF file showing the proposal for the National Healthcare Uniform project.