Colour-coded uniforms for nurses8th May 2009
Nurses in Wales are to be issued with colour-coded uniforms to help patients identify who is in charge on a hospital ward.
Under the uniform regime to be unveiled, ward sisters will wear navy blue, clinical specialist nurses royal blue, staff nurses sky blue and healthcare support workers will wear green.
The unisex uniforms of loose-fitting tops and trousers are seen by the Welsh Assembly government as a way of helping clear up confusion about who does what on a ward.
The new uniforms will be issued to the 33,000 nurses from October and are part of a wider drive to address hygiene concerns over uniforms being worn outside of hospital and perceived as bringing in infections.
Chief nursing officer Rosemary Kennedy said: "The research isn't strong at all on that, but there's a perception. So we wanted to make a uniform that was very clearly identifiable to NHS Wales."
The assembly also wants to see laundries in hospitals for washing the uniforms.
Health Minister Edwina Hart said the new uniform would ensure that anyone entering a hospital in Wales would "know immediately who is a nurse and who is in charge".
She was also pleased the nursing profession had been involved in the development and design of the new uniforms.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) congress is to discuss calls to introduce a similar national uniform in England.
RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly said: "Colour-coded uniforms will make it easier for patients and their families to recognise registered nurses and ward sisters."
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