Dudley hospital staff blue over change to brown uniform
A hospital is replacing the uniform of its non-registered healthcare staff – changing the colour from blue to ‘biscuit’.
But the move by Dudley Group NHS, which runs Russells Hall Hospital, has proved unpopular with some of the clinical support workers.
An online petition named Keep Dudley Group Uniform Blue has been signed by more than 470 supporters.
The hospital trust has started rolling out the new uniform, which come in two styles – a tunic and trousers or a dress.
Chief executive Diane Wake said: “The trust is replacing selected staff uniforms to help patients identify the difference between registered and non-registered healthcare staff.
“The biscuit-coloured clinical support staff uniform replaces the previous blue tunic often associated with registered nurses.”
She added: “The roll out of new uniforms for ward clerks and clinical support staff means non-registered staff will be easily recognised by the colour and style of their new uniforms.
“The change in uniform will reduce confusion for our patients and visitors by making it easier to identify nurses, matrons and doctors from ward clerks and clinical support workers.
“The selection of the new uniforms was based on best quality and style to retain a professional and smart appearance.”
The uniform replacement is funded under the trust’s contract with its private finance initiative (PFI) partners.
Comments left on the online petition, however, disagree with the trust.
One person who signed the petition said: “It’s a waste of money, when we could be doing bigger and better things with the money to improve all areas of the NHS and patients care.
“Isn’t that more important than a horrendous new uniform?”
Another said: “Really don’t want to change from blue.”
Last night, the Royal College of Nursing defended the trust.
A spokesman said: “It’s important that patients and the public are able to distinguish between health care staff who have different responsibilities and different levels of responsibility.
“In the NHS, the colour of a uniform is a conventional way to help people understand these differences.
“We would expect any employer to ensure that in considering changes to the characteristics of its uniforms it takes due account of the views and experiences of staff for whom a uniform needs to be fit for purpose and as comfortable as possible.”