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New NHS nurse uniforms 'cause rashes'


A £1.5m programme to introduce colour-coded NHS uniforms in Wales could be scrapped after scores of nurses complained that the items caused painful rashes.

The outfits, designed to make different grades of staff easier to identify, are currently being rolled out in the Hywel Dda and Betsi Cadwaladr University health boards.

A spokesman for the Welsh Assembly said that while the problems had only affected “a minority” of workers, concern for the welfare of staff was “paramount”.

He added that those experiencing any kind of irritation had been offered alternative uniforms, supplies of which were plentiful.

The fabric in question is understood to have undergone extensive testing before being used in the outfit.

Tina Donnelly, director of the Royal College of Nursing in Wales, urged members of staff to report any problems to their relevant department at the earliest opportunity so that outstanding issues could be dealt with quickly.


Readers' comments (18)

  • You have got to be kidding.

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  • Scrubs are fine, comfortable and not up around your neck like a tunic. With your name and profession badge, plus the university you trained at, they look very professional. Wash them first and they will be ok. A lot of nurses, especially female just don't like wearing them - you know what I mean, it's a fashion thing. We aint in the 1960's!

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  • lol after all that debate. What a complete was of extremely valuable money. It should never have been a issue in this economical climate.

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  • Why do we continue to go round in complete circles 'chasing our tails'. Colour coded uniforms to identify different grades of staff were in vogue when i did my training in the late 70'searly 80's they were then binned. What a waste of valuable money will we never learn or stop reinventing the wheel each decade.

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  • It has been an absolute waste of valuable funds that could have been used on CPD for nurses and midwives. They are also inpractical. No flys and pockets for the men. The level of impracticality becomes clear when you try to fit in bunches of keys, ball pens, alcohol hand wipes (portable), wallet, and office mobile, all in two top pockets. And if you have a small pack of tissues to catch a quick sneeze, you will have to fit them in as well.

    In my opinion, and this is from wearing them, they score lower than the previous ones on both practicality and aesthetics. When one adds the reported health hazards, they are useless. In the old uniform one looked and felt smart. In this, one looks and feels casual. I know that the hood does not necessarily make a monk, but one feels like a monk when one wears a monk's hood.

    I am yet to meet anyone who has worn both, and scored the new uniform higher than the old one, in all aspects.

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  • I agree with Ezesomaga, whilst I want a national uniform and initially like the aesthetics of the tops, our uniforms above all else need to be practical, and that means lots of pockets and comfortable material. Pity these apparently don't fit the bill.

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  • I've already offered to give someone a nic cut and blowdry and someone else a shampoo and set...................oops................whats that you say, we're not hairdressers........I forgot,, it's just that we seem to be dressed like them these days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a waste of noney!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Steve Williams


    could only happen in the UK...

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  • You couldn't make it up could you?

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  • Welsh Nurses used to have a national uniform, at least they did when I trained. 70/80s

    it was white with different coloured epaulettes;
    Yellow Students RGN and EN(G)
    Dark Green Auxillary Nurse
    Petrol Green EN(G)
    Blue RGN (Staff Nurse)
    Navy Blue Dress Sister / Senior Nurse


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