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CODE OF DRESS POLICY

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					           DRESS CODE POLICY


                          Assurance Statement

   This policy aims to ensure that Suffolk Mental Health Partnership
      NHS Trust employees convey a professional appearance and
  attitude to their work and do not place themselves or service users
          at unnecessary risk in relation to health and safety.




 SMHPT Policy                           HR 26/02/05
 Date approved by Trust Executive       February 2005
 Date approved by Trust Board           February 2005
 Review date                            February 2007
 Implementation date                    March 2005
 Director responsible for               Director of HR and
 monitoring and reviewing policy        Workforce Development
 Freedom of Information category        Policies




SMHPT Dress code policy                                      Page 1 of 6
      SUFFOLK MENTAL HEALTH PARTNERSHIPNHS TRUST


                        DRESS CODE POLICY


1      Policy Statement

Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust firmly believes its employees
should convey a professional appearance and attitude to their work at all
times and should not place themselves or their service users at unnecessary
risk in relation to health and safety.

2      Introduction

2.1    To function safely and effectively the Trust needs to ensure that
       employees work to a dress code.

2.2    The dress code will ensure that employees protect themselves for
       work in a manner that complies with risk management policies and
       promotes a positive image of the Trust.

2.3    This policy describes the Trust’s standard for wearing uniform, name
       badges, protective clothing and mufti whilst at work.

2.4    The laundering of uniform or work garments is important to reduce the
       risk of cross infection.

2.5    This policy should be read in conjunction with the Food Hygiene and
       Safety policy (RM5), Hand Decontamination and Protective Clothing
       policy (CL6) and Health and Safety policy.

3      Scope of the policy

3.1    The policy applies to all employees of the trust, including those on
       honorary contracts, agency workers and volunteers.

3.2    Failure to follow the policy may put the employee or a service user /
       client at risk of injury or infection and may lead to disciplinary action
       being taken.

3.3    Employees who do not adhere to the policy will be asked to return
       home to change into more suitable clothing and to pay back the time at
       the end of the shift.

3.4    Employees wearing uniform or mufti must ensure that their garments
       are presentable, of good fit and are suitable wear for their roles and
       responsibilities.


SMHPT Dress code policy                                                Page 2 of 6
3.5   All clothes must be clean and washed in the correct way to reduce the
      risk of infection. Clothes that become contaminated with body fluids
      must be changed at the first opportunity and must not pose a threat to
      the spread of infection

4     Responsibility

4.1   The responsibility for complying with this policy lies with the individual
      employee. If the employee has cultural or religious beliefs
      that make it difficult for them to comply with this policy they must
      discuss the issue with their line manager or their human resource
      representative to resolve the issue.

4.2   The responsibility for implementing this policy lies with Directors,
      Senior Managers and Line Managers of this Trust.

4.3   Uniform (where appropriate) for new employees and items for
      replacement must be ordered by the line manager or equivalent.

4.4   The Directors and Senior Manages should take advice from specialist
      employees (e.g. Manual Handling Adviser, Risk Manager, Infection
      Control Nurse) if they are unsure whether safe practice is being
      adopted.

4.5   The Director of Human Resources and Workforce Development is
      responsible for notifying all employment agencies of this policy

5     Implementation

5.1   The following principles should be adopted by employees.

5.1.1 Clothing

      • All clothing should be neat, clean, and without holes or slogans.

      • All clothing should be safe, having regard to the activity being carried
        out at the time. Employees must comply with the Health and Safety
        regulations to ensure personal safety and that of the clients.

      • Employees are expected to use discretion in choosing appropriate
        attire. Clothing that is too tight or see through may be interpreted as
        provocative by service users and should not be worn on duty.

      • The Trust does not approve of the wearing of “designer clothing”
        whilst working in service user areas. The Trust does not consider it
        appropriate that employees should provide care to service users while
        wearing expensive or expensive looking items of clothing. It is also
        not appropriate to wear such clothing where there is a risk of it being



SMHPT Dress code policy                                              Page 3 of 6
          torn or otherwise damaged should it be necessary to restrain a
          service user.
          Employees wear such clothing at their own risk. The Trust will only
          consider a claim for loss or compensation after damage whilst on
          duty to the value of “non designer” equivalent.

5.1.2 Name badges

        • All employees working in the Trust properties must wear a name
          badge at all times and should only be removed for safety reasons.
          Employees working within the community must carry their Trusts ID
          badges with them at all times.

    • Students must wear the educational establishment’s badge at
      all times

5.1.3     Jewellery

        • Should be kept to a minimum (bracelets, long or looped earrings and
          dangling necklaces are not to be worn on duty). Nose and eyebrow
          studs may be worn. Nose and eyebrow rings should not be worn.
          Rings which protrude from the finger should not be worn as they may
          cause harm to a service user when in situations involving restraint or
          when assisting a service user to move.

5.1.4     Nails

        • Particular attention should be paid to nails for those working in service
          user and food handling areas.

                  - artificial nails or nail polish must not be worn as they
                  discourage vigorous hand washing. Artificial nails are a source
                  of contamination. Nail polish can flake and itself become a
                  source of contamination

                   - nails should be kept short and particular attention paid to
                  them when washing hands – most microbes on the hands come
                  from beneath the finger nails

5.1.5     Neckties

        • The wearing of a necktie is optional. Neckties if worn should be
          removed if a potentially dangerous situation occurs, or is likely.

5.1.6     Hair and beards

        • Should be neat and clean. Long hair should be tied back when
          handling food, working in a locked environment or when undertaking
          physical interventions with service users.




SMHPT Dress code policy                                                    Page 4 of 6
5.1.7        Protective clothing

         • White coats or plastic aprons may be worn when carrying out duties in
           relation to direct physical service user care only and should always be
           worn when serving food.
5.1.8        Footwear

         • Sensible footwear must be worn, and should be viewed as protection
           to feet. Employees must be able to respond to any emergency
           situation without placing themselves at risk, therefore, the wearing of
           opened toed or open backed types of footwear, high heeled shoes
           and flip flops should be avoided.

5.1.9        Tattoos body art

         • Those which may be seen as provocative or which may be
           misinterpreted should be covered whilst at work.

5.1.10       Protective clothing for non catering food handlers

         • All non catering food handlers when involved in serving food will wear
           suitable clean protective clothing (white disposable aprons). This must
           be changed for each meal service and will only be worn for food
           handling duties.

         • Protective headwear must be worn and long hair must be tied back,
           to ensure hair and scalp conditions do not contaminate foods or
           surfaces.

5.1.11       Clothing for undertaking specific activities with service users

         • In exceptional circumstances, certain employees may need to wear
           specific clothing to undertake activities in relation to their role e.g.
           fitness instructors, occupational therapists, sporting activity with
           service users.

         • It is the responsibility of their manager to agree what clothing is
           suitable for that specific activity and to ensure they comply with
           health and safety regulations.

  5.2        Unacceptable clothing

          The following items of dress are considered to be unacceptable either
          for Health and Safety reasons or because they are considered to be
          unacceptable for the Trust’s public image. These items apply to both
          male and female employees.

         •        Frayed, torn, dirty clothes




  SMHPT Dress code policy                                                Page 5 of 6
      •     Sports clothing, i.e. tracksuits, jogging bottoms, football shirts

      •     Vest tops, leggings, skin tight clothing

      •     Tops/T-Shirts that are low cut or cropped bottomed

      •     T-Shirts with written messages, logos or distracting advertising

      •     Micro/very short mini skirts, dresses or shorts

      •     Excessively high-heeled shoes, training shoes of any description
            or military style footwear.

      •     Blue denim of any type especially jeans.


5.    Monitoring and Review

5.1   The Director of Human Resources and Workforce Development is
      responsible for the monitoring and review of this policy.

5.2   All directors will ensure that the dress code is monitored and reviewed
      in their areas.




SMHPT Dress code policy                                              Page 6 of 6

				
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