Skip to main content

Allied Health Professionals Base Colours Announced for National Healthcare Uniform

23 May 2023

NHS Supply Chain is pleased to announce the results of the National Healthcare Uniform base colourway survey for Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) working within the NHS in England.


Following continued engagement with NHS England and Allied Health Professional Bodies, a survey was launched in January giving Allied Health professions across the NHS the opportunity to input on their proposed base colour for the National Healthcare uniform.

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. The responses represent different occupations, regions, genders, ages and ethnic groups from all the Allied Health professions across the NHS. The highest response rate was from Physiotherapists, Radiographers and Occupational Therapists and are reflective of the size of these professions.


AHPs were asked to express their preference for a base colour for the smart scrub style tunic top from either white, pale grey or dark magenta. Across all professions, the preferred colour was dark magenta with 43% of respondents making this their first choice. This was closely followed by white with 38% of first place votes. Pale grey was the least preferred colour.

With no clear first choice lead, reallocating the second preference choices to dark magenta and white resulted in 54% of votes for dark magenta and 46% of votes for white indicating that dark magenta is the most acceptable across the professions.

Most professions expressed a preference for dark magenta with some – Radiographers, Orthoptists, ODP, SALT, and Dieticians showing particularly strong preferences. Two professions Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy had a strong preference for white. Only Drama and Art therapy expressed any preference for grey but they also had a similar preference for dark magenta.


Following continued engagement, and presentation of the results to the Allied Health Professional Bodies, it was decided that due to the strength of the responses 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.

I’d like to thank all Allied Health Professionals for their overwhelming response, engagement and patience. The outcome of this survey is that Allied Health Professions will be allocated a single base colour which is aligned to the vote received from their members. In the main this means most will adopt dark magenta with Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Prosthetists and Orthotists adopting white as this was their preferred choice. We look forward to continued engagement so you will have a fit for purpose, easy to wear, smart and comfortable uniform for our diverse NHS workforce.

Kevin Chidlow, Category Tower Director for NHS Supply Chain: Hotel Services