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					Dress Code Policy

Version:                                    2.1
Ratified by:                                Healthcare Governance Committee
Date ratified:                              14.01.09
Name of originator/author:                  Head of Nursing
Name of responsible committee/individual:   Infection Control Committee
Circulated to:                              Infection Control committee
                                            Healthcare Governance Committee
                                            Joint Staff Committee
Date issued:                                28.05.09
Review date:                                28.05.2010
Target audience:                            All staff

                             Version Control Summary

      Version         Date           Author             Status       Comment
      2.1             28.05.09       JW                 Final


Paragraph                                            Page

    1       Introduction                               4
    2       Scope of this policy                       4
    3       Responsibilities                           4
    4       Principles to be adopted by all staff      4
            4.1 Clothing                               4
            4.2 Name badges                            5
    5       Staff carrying out clinical procedures     5
            5.1 Footwear                               5
            5.2 Protective Clothing                    6
            5.3 Jewellery                              6
            5.4 Hair and Beards                        6
            5.5 Nails                                  6
            5.6 General issues                         7
    5       Disagreement                               7

           Implementation Tool                       8 - 12

1.0   Introduction

      East London NHS Foundation Trust is committed to ensuring 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 infection control or Health and Safety. To
      function safely and effectively the Trust needs to ensure that employees
      work to a dress code.

      The dress code will ensure that employees protect themselves and their
      patients for work in a manner that complies with infection control and
      health and safety policies.

2.0   Scope of the Policy

2.1   The policy applies to all employees of the Trust, including those on
      honorary contracts, agency workers and volunteers. Failure to follow the
      policy may put the employee or a service user at risk of injury or infection
      and may lead to disciplinary action being taken.

2.2   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.

2.3   Employees must ensure that their garments are presentable, of good fit
      and are suitable for their roles and responsibilities.

3.0   Responsibility

3.1   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 this issue
      with their line manager to resolve the issue.

3.2   Line managers must take advice from specialist employees (e.g.
      Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression instructors,
      Infection Control Nurse) if they are unsure whether safe practice is being

4.0   Principles to be adopted by all staff

4.1   Clothing

4.1.1 All clothing should be neat, clean and without holes.

4.1.2 Employees are expected to use discretion in choosing appropriate attire.
      Clothing that is too tight or see through may be interpreted as provocative
      and should be avoided.

4.1.3 The following items of clothing are considered to be unacceptable.

                Frayed, torn and dirty clothes
                Vest tops/T-shirts that are low cut or cropped bottomed
                Micro/very short mini skirts, dresses or shorts
                Excessively high-heeled shoes.

4.2   Name Badges

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

4.2.2 Students must wear their educational establishment’s badges at all times.

5.0   Staff Carrying out clinical procedures including

      -      Drug Rounds
      -      Physical examinations
      -      Aseptic Techniques
      -      Food Handling

      Staff carrying out clinical procedures should follow the related Trust
      Policies i.e. Aseptic Technique, Selection of Personal Protective
      Equipment; Hand Hygiene Policy and Standard Precautions. However the
      following universal precautions should be followed.

5.1   Footwear

5.1.2 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

5.2    Protective Clothing

5.2.1 The primary uses of Personal Protective Equipment PPE are to protect
      staff and reduce opportunities for transmission of micro-organisms in

5.2.2 Selection of protective equipment must be based on an assessment of the
      risk of transmission of micro-organisms to the patient or to the carer, and
      the risk of contamination of the healthcare practitioners’ clothing and skin
      by patients’ blood, body fluids, secretions or excretions.

5.2.3 Protective clothing should always be available and should, in addition to
      other control measures, be worn when carrying out hazardous duties or
      infectious procedures under Health and Safety Regulations. Protective
      aprons are a preventive measure against cross infection and must be
      worn over clothes when:

                  Food Handling
                  Undertaking personal care
                  Aseptic procedures or dealing with patients who have infections
                  Changing bed linen
                  Gloves and aprons should be changed between each task and
                   each patient.

5.3    Jewellery

5.3.1 Jewellery should be kept to minimum, long or looped earrings, rings which
      protrude from the finger and nose and eyebrow rings should not be worn.
      A neck chain may be worn if removing it would cause distress and it is
      hidden in the clothing. Studs may be worn in ears, noses and eyebrows. If
      watches or bracelets are worn they should be removed when undertaking
      patient care and for hand washing.

5.4    Hair & Beard

5.4.1 Hair and beards should be neat and clean. Long hair should be tied back
      when handling food or when undertaking physical or clinical interventions
      with service users (see section 6.0). Hair slides, clips ribbons and other
      fastenings must be discreet.

5.5.   Nails

5.5.1 Particular attention should be paid to nails for those undertaking clinical
      procedures and handling food.

                 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.

5.6    General Issues

5.6.1 Sleeves should be worn above the elbow and neckties removed

5.6.2 If make-up and perfume are worn, they must be discreet. Some patients
      are sensitive to perfume

5.6.3 Staff must take care when carrying items in pockets (particularly breast
      pockets), as these are liable to fall out and cause injury.

6.0    Disagreement

6.1.1 Managers are responsible for ensuring this policy is followed consistently
      and appropriately. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list of rules rather to
      give a general indication of the standards expected.

                                          Impact Assessment Tool
Equality and Diversity; Human Rights and Environmental Issues
To be completed and attached to any procedural document when submitted to the
appropriate committee for consideration and approval.
 1     Briefly describe the procedure/decision?                           Policy on code of practice of

 1.1   Briefly describe the purpose or objective of the                   To reduce risks of cross infection
       procedure/decision?                                                through clothing and accessories

 1.2   Does the procedure/decision have a legitimate               Yes/

 1.3   Is the procedure/decision necessary,
       proportionate and lawful?                                   Yes/

 2     Will the procedure/decision affect one group or a           No
       combination of groups less or more favorably
       than others on the basis of:
       Race, Colour, Nationality, Gender, Age, Sexual
       orientation, Disability, Religion, Language

       (Disability includes: learning disabilities, physical
       disability, sensory impairment and mental illness)

 2.1   List or describe the evidence that some groups
       will be affected differently?

 3     Will the procedure/decision affect or restrict              No
       anyone’s human rights? (see attached list)

 3.1   If the answer to Q3 is yes, which rights will be
       affected or restricted?
       a) absolute right
       e.g. the right to protection from inhuman &
       degrading treatment
       b) limited right
       e.g. the right to liberty
       c) qualified right
       e.g. the right to respect for private and family life;
       freedom of expression; peaceful enjoyment of

      property etc;
3.2   Can the procedure/decision be achieved without      Yes/No
      the infringement of human rights?

4     Will this procedure/decision:

              Reduce or increase waste                   No

              reduce or increase use of energy           No

              Have an impact on the use of transport
              Create community employment
               opportunities                              No
5     What action is to be taken to minimise the                   Explain your answer
      impact that the procedure/decision will have on
      equality and diversity and human rights.

5.1   What action is to be taken to minimise the
      impact that the procedure/decision will have on
      the environment

6     Have you consulted with relevant groups around
      this procedure/decision?
           - Staff members
           - Service Users
           - Carers
           - Other agencies
6.1   Do you have further plans to consult with the
      relevant groups

7     Will the procedure/decision be monitored?           Yes

7.1   Will the procedure/decision be reviewed?            Yes      It will be included in the Infection
      If yes, when?                                                Control Audit in future

7.2   Will this procedure/decision and this Impact        Yes      On the intranet
      assessment be published?

      If yes, list when and where this information will
      be available.

This Impact Assessment Form must accompany the procedure to the relevant committee
and copied to: Robert Jones, Associate Director of Equality and Diversity, 4th Floor,
Eastone, 22 Commercial Street, London E1 6LP

Convention Rights
    Right to life
    Right not to be tortured or treated in a inhuman or degrading treatment
    Right to be free from slavery or forced labour
    Right to no punishment without law
    Right to Liberty
    Right to fair trial
    Right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence
    Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
    Right to freedom of expression
    Right to freedom of assembly and association
    Right to marry and found a family
    Right not to be discriminated against
    Right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions
    Right to education
    Right to free elections
Types of rights
Absolute rights such as the right to protection from torture, inhuman and degrading
treatment and punishment, the prohibition of slavery and enforced labour and protection
from retrospective criminal penalties – can never be interfered with.
Limited rights such as the right to liberty which are limited under explicit and finite
circumstances set out European Commission for Human Rights (ECHR) itself, which
provides exceptions to the general right – can be restricted in some tightly defined
Qualified rights which include the right to respect for private and family life, religion
and belief, freedom of expression, assembly and association, the right to peaceful
enjoyment of property and to some extent the right to education. Interference with them
is permissible only if what is done:
   A.      has its basis in law, and
   B.      Is done to secure a permissible aim set out in the relevant Article, for example
           for the prevention of crime, or for the protection of public order or health, and

C.   Is necessary in a democratic society, which means it must fulfil a pressing
     social need, pursue a legitimate aim and be proportionate to the aims being