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Wednesday 24th January 2018

Row over NHS logo

8th January 2007

A private company has been given the right to use the universal NHS logo after winning a national supplies contract.

The move has sparked accusations that the government is ‘selling off’ the NHS brand and marking a bleak future for the NHS.

The private consortium, headed by delivery firm DHL, was awarded a 10-year contract worth £1.6bn to supply healthcare products to hospitals and GP surgeries around Britain. As part of the deal with the Department of Health, it holds a licence 'for use of the NHS marks'.

The group, named NHS Supply Chain, has already begun using the logo across its delivery trucks and letterheads.

In 2005 the Department of Health said the famous blue and white ‘lozenge’ should be used as a form of quality assurance ‘kite-mark’.

NHS Trusts and organisations have to follow very specific rules on using the logo correctly, backed up by a £330,000 enforcement programme in 2006.

But the move has angered campaigners who have accused the government of exploiting the patient trust inspired by the logo.

The government said it was normal practice for a contractor to use its client’s brand.

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