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Trust relaxes nurses’ uniform rules to beat the heat

Nurses and midwives allowed to wear shorts instead of traditional uniforms as UK temperatures continue to soar

Nurses and midwives allowed to wear shorts instead of traditional uniforms as UK temperatures continue to soar

Shorts
Picture: iStock

Nurses are being allowed to ditch their traditional uniforms for smart shorts during the hot weather at one trust.

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said nurses and midwives are among staff who will trial more comfortable clothing during the heatwave.

The heatwave in some parts of the UK has led to reports of dehydration among nurses, including one nurse being taken to an emergency department after working three 12-hour shifts in a row.

Meanwhile, temperatures were forecast to reach a peak of 37°C today.

Staff being comfortable and able to focus on care is priority

Gloucestershire Hospitals chief nurse Steve Hams said: ‘Our nurses, midwives and other clinical teams were finding the increased temperatures uncomfortable.

‘Ensuring our staff are comfortable and able to focus on caring is a key priority for us and clearly being able to wear practical and appropriate workwear is important, especially during the unusually warm weather.’

The trial started at the beginning of July and will continue into August, when the trust will ask for feedback on the flexible uniform rule.

Possible change to summer uniform policy

Mr Hams said: ‘We will seek feedback from our staff and patients, and consider adding it to our uniform policy as a permanent summer addition to uniforms.

‘While we have not had a huge take up, we are looking forward to reviewing the result of the trial. 

‘Being responsive to staff requests is a key part of our approach to having a happy and healthy workforce.’

The change in policy comes at a time when the RCN has said nurses are often unable to remain hydrated because employers ban them from carrying water bottles on wards.


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