The BIMA Hijabs & Bare Below the Elbows team has been working hard to raise awareness of faith sensitive dress code at work. Working in collaboration with the BMA and NHS Employers we are pleased to announce the publication of the new NHS National Uniforms and Workwear guidelines by NHS England & NHS Improvement.
Particularly relevant additions include:
– NHS staff may wear their full cloth headcoverings in surgical theatres – including hijabs, turbans and kippah*
– There is no need to wear an overlying surgical cap
– Alternatively a single use disposable head garments may be worn
The guidelines reinforce guidance
– Alternatives to bare below the elbows are 3/4 length sleeves or disposable oversleeves
– Full-length sleeves are permissible if not involved in direct patient care
(N.B Direct patient care has been redefined to the patient bedspace or any activity that involves patient contact)
The BIMA peer-reviewed research published in the BMJ Open is referenced in the guidelines.
Now we need you to get involved and do your part!
Hospitals retain the responsibility to implement the dress code policy. We need you to call upon your hospitals to implement the new guidance. In three easy steps
1. Find your trust policy.
Search your hospital intranet for the dress code/uniform policy
2. Email the policyholder/author (declared at the top of the policy)
Include a link to the new guidelines
Copy in the trust equality and diversity lead/chaplain/faith forum
3. Request that they undertake an equality impact assessment & implement the changes recommended in the new guidance
Highlight the section on bare below the elbows and faith headcoverings in surgical theatres
*please refer to the guidance for more details on infection control