Tuesday, 16 December 2008

NHS uniforms

I'm not a fan of simply posting up Scottish Government press releases, but I will make an exception for this one.

Nicola Sturgeon has announced a new dress code for the NHS, which is partly for hygiene reasons. The new code also states that staff should not be wearing their uniforms outwith their place of work. Frankly, I am baffled as to why NHS staff have ever been allowed to! There are clear implications for hygiene.

I remember, many moons ago, when the Scottish Ambulance Service issued new uniforms. When I was wee my Dad used to head off to work in a tailored pair of navy trousers, a light blue shirt, navy tie and navy jumper. This ensemble was washed and ironed at home. Then came along the bright green boiler suits that we are all familiar with. They were not popular with ambulance staff to begin with (they are not at all flattering on anyone), but everyone saw how much more practical they are. All of my Dad's uniforms are also now washed at the ambulance station.

There are also different colours of boiler suits for different jobs within the ambulance service too.

All in all, I think this is great news for the NHS. I think part of the reason that Nicola makes such a fantastic Health Secretary is her capacity for common sense - she gets what the rest of us see, even if some other politicians can't see the wood for the trees sometimes. Nicola's relentless focus on improving hospital hygiene will, I think, transform the NHS. She has one of the most difficult jobs in Scotland, not just Scottish politics. But she is certainly up to the job!

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