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Nurses: Uniforms

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 24 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department has issued to nurses and other medical staff on wearing uniforms beyond hospital premises; and what assessment his Department has made of the risk of infection arising from nurses and medical staff wearing uniform outside hospitals. (200349)

The Department has published, ‘Uniforms and Workwear: An evidence base for developing local policy’ (September 2007), which sets out the evidence1 relating to good and poor practice relating to the wearing of uniforms. The publication states that “there is no conclusive evidence that uniforms pose a significant hazard in terms of spreading infection”. It acknowledges, however, that patient confidence may be undermined if staff are seen travelling in uniform and states that; “it is good practice to change into and out of uniform at work” or “to cover uniform when travelling to and from work”. The publication is intended for use by individual trusts in determining their own policies on the wearing of uniforms in and around the workplace.

1 An evidence-base developed by Thames Valley University, (authors: JA Wilson, H.P. Loveday, P.N. Hoffman and RJ. Pratt)