National uniform policy: Chief Nursing Officer letter

Letter from the Chief Nursing Officer to nurse directors providing further clarification on the role and use of the navy blue national uniform.

Dear Colleagues

National Uniform Policy - navy blue uniform clarification

This letter is intended to provide further clarification on the role and use of the navy blue national uniform as described in the National Uniform Policy CEL 42 (2010). In particular, this letter provides clarity on which staff within the clinical nursing team should be wearing the navy blue tunic.

The information below has been discussed and agreed with Nurse Directors to clear up any confusion and ensure the navy blue uniform is used appropriately and consistently across NHSScotland.

The navy blue uniform was developed to help patients and members of the public identify the nurse in charge. For this purpose, the navy blue uniform will be worn by Senior Charge Nurses. In addition, those employed as designated Team Leaders should wear the navy blue uniform where their role is similar to a Senior Charge Nurse and it is important they are visible to patients and the public.

It is recognised that there will be areas with multiple Senior Charge Nurses/Midwives, where lead responsibility for the area will be shared depending on shifts or parts of the ward area. In these circumstances, it is appropriate that these staff should be issued with navy blue, even if not in charge for every shift.

Hospital at Night practitioners should also wear navy, if no Senior Charge Nurse is on duty, and there is a need for them to be visible to patients and public as the nurse in charge.

Boards must ensure that use of the navy blue tunic is not extended to denote other specialist or senior nurses, even if they are practising at the same or a more senior level than the Senior Charge Nurse: nor should it be used for:

  • any general management or supervisory roles
  • staff 'acting up' and assuming responsibilities of the Senior Charge Nurse, unless they have been appointed on an extended basis to replace the Senior Charge Nurse
  • staff assuming managerial responsibility for an area, including bed managers

We would be grateful if you could ensure that this information is adhered to immediately, in line with the National Uniform policy, and is cascaded to relevant colleagues and departments responsible for the ordering and supplying of uniforms.

Yours sincerely

ROS MOORE Chief Nursing Officer

JOHN NICHOLLS Deputy Director, Staff Governance and Employee Experience




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