Alerted to this by Contrary after seeing a tweet about it, I’m shocked that this could even be possible, and not just at this time.

In February 2008 (!) the Daily Mail wrote:

‘Nurses could be banned from wearing their uniforms off hospital premises – because the public are afraid they could spread superbugs. At the moment, nurses are allowed to wear their uniforms while travelling to and from work, as long as it is covered by an outer garment. … “If they then have to allow extra time for getting changed into their uniform, it will lead to an even extended working day.’

Readers may remember the Norovirus outbreaks last winter which did not close wards in Scottish hospitals but closed hundreds in England.

You will also know that the coronavirus mortality rate in Scotland is half that of the UK average.

The tweet suggested that NHS Scotland staff would be disciplined if they went outwith the hospital grounds in uniform:

This from NHS Borders seems clear:

Uniforms are the property of NHS Borders; the official uniform must be worn at all
times when on duty and should not be worn outside the hospital, unless the member
of staff is on official duty such as escort duties.

And in Wales during the abovementioned Norovirus outbreak:

An outbreak of norovirus at Cardiff’s University Hospital has sparked a controversy about NHS uniforms being worn outside work.

Earlier this month, Wales Online’s coverage of the outbreak prompted widespread comment about employees seen in their scrubs at a supermarket or when picking up their children from school.

Readers reacted to the story by questioning whether NHS employees had inadvertently contributed to the spread of nasty bugs.