In January 2023 we shared with our members an AHP Uniform Survey being carried out by the NHS Supply Chain. The survey was part of a project to develop a National Healthcare Uniform for the NHS in England and compiled to allow all AHPs the opportunity to have input on the proposed base colour for the AHP uniform across the NHS in England. This did not apply to paramedics working in NHS Ambulance Trusts, but to those paramedics working in Acute (Hospital) or Mental Health Trusts, for example. Within the initial survey questions, the role of ‘paramedic’ was not included as a specific option, therefore any paramedic who completed the survey had to choose the ‘other’ option, as did Art, Drama and Music Therapists, Osteopaths, Prosthetists and Orthotists. The College of Paramedics contacted colleagues at NHS Supply Chain to get the survey amended to include paramedic as a stand-alone role category.
The results of this survey were published in May 23 in the document ‘Base Colourway Consultation Summary of Responses’
. Despite being a member of the AHP Uniform Advisory Group since its inception in early 2022 and attending face to face meetings later that year, the College of Paramedics was not notified of the publication of these results and so there was a delay in our review of them. We contacted the NHS Supply Chain to ask for the results in sufficient detail to obtain the views of those paramedics who completed the survey. In the meantime, the NHS Supply Chain published the ‘NHS National Healthcare Uniform Colourways Palette’
in September 23 with the omission of paramedics in the Allied Health Professions Trim Colours section. This oversight leaves paramedics that work in a wide range of non-Ambulance NHS Trust roles unsure of what their uniform could be in the future and their employers without clear guidance of what to offer.
We have again contacted NHS Supply Chain outlining our disappointment over their lack of communication and consultation as this project has progressed, their apparent disregard for the paramedic professions’ relevance within this project and asked for clear guidance regarding a solution to the situation we now find ourselves in. We await a response.