A new burgundy tunic is to be rolled out across Scotland for all band 8 nurse managers and above who are working in clinical settings, ministers have officially announced.
The new uniform, which is an addition to that already in place for lower bands, was launched on Monday by Scottish health secretary Shona Robison.
“Following today’s launch, a full national roll-out will take place”
The move is intended to boost the “visibility of clinical leadership in Scotland’s hospitals and enhance patient safety”, said Ms Robison at the nursing conference yesterday.
It comes in response to the inquiries into Vale of Leven Hospital and Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, according to a letter sent to NHS boards outlining the change on 21 September.
It stated that the purpose of the tunic was to “improve the visibility of senior nurse leadership, and increase public visibility and accountability of senior nursing leaders within the ward setting”.
The letter said the uniform should be worn by “nurse directors, associate, assistant deputy nurse directors and clinical nurse managers” – many of whom would previously have worn business attire.
“Health boards have identified there are 540 staff that fall within the scope of this definition, it said, adding that the uniform was “to be worn at all times when working in a clinical environment”.
“It should also be noted that this staff group, and only this staff group is being considered here, was previously outwith scope of the national uniform policy,” noted the letter.
Since 2012, all staff below this level in NHS Scotland have been wearing a national uniform, with clinical staff wearing tunics in five shades of blue with navy trousers. The colour-coded national uniforms are making it easier for patients and the public to identify NHS Scotland staff and their roles.
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Speaking at the chief nursing officer for Scotland’s annual summit at Edinburgh University, Ms Robison said: “Today I am launching the new uniform for clinical nurse managers.
“As many of you will know, the request for an addition to the national uniform followed the publication of the Vale of Leven Hospital Inquiry report and the Scottish government’s response to it,” she told delegates.
“This has taken some time to come to fruition, and I know a good deal of work went into scoping this request,” said Ms Robison.
She added: “The clinical nurse manager uniform, to be worn by all at band 8a and above in clinical settings, will increase the visibility of clinical leadership in Scotland’s hospitals and enhance patient safety.
“I am grateful to all who made it happen,” she said. “And following today’s launch, a full national roll-out will take place.”