The NHS is a huge and diverse organisation. We employ a vast number of people, and we communicate with many more.

Whether they are visiting our premises, using our services, meeting our staff or simply noticing us at work in the community, we want people to know who we are and what we do. By using a common brand and design style, we will enable people to recognise the NHS at all times.

This section looks at how we mark our property: our buildings, our uniforms and the things we own. Property varies in size, shape and function, and we don’t aim to cover every example of NHS property on this website. But we do aim to set out the general principles that will help you to communicate our identity through your core property items.

Our signature

The NHS logo is our signature, our mark of ownership. It should be applied to property whenever you want people to identify and recognise NHS services, for example:

  • at the front and reception areas of buildings;
  • on staff name badges and security passes;
  • on staff uniforms;
  • on vehicles and ambulances.

In addition to our logo, our typefaces and colours will help to communicate key information about the NHS to patients and the public.

You should read this section in conjunction with our guidelines on the NHS logo, NHS typefaces, the NHS colour palette as well as the guidance about your local logotype.

You should also keep our communications principles in mind at all times.

Suppliers of staff identification items and other NHS-branded wares

The NHS logo is a registered trade mark and can only be used with the permission of an NHS organisation or the NHS identity team. Printers and other suppliers of NHS branded items such as identity badges, lanyards, embroidered clothing and stationery items, have standing permission to use the NHS logo on such items, but need to comply with the criteria below. Failure to do so will be regarded as 'unlicensed use of the logo' and may result in legal action being taken.

  1. Items cannot be held in stock, but instead must be manufactured to order once commissioned by an NHS organisation
  2. Payment must come directly from an NHS organisation
  3. Delivery must be to an NHS organisation's address
  4. Suppliers will need to state requirements 2 and 3 in any advertising as a condition for using the NHS logo in illustrations of example wares
  5. Except for illustrations of example wares, suppliers are not permitted to use NHS branding in their promotional material.
  6. Suppliers must use the NHS logo in accordance with the NHS Identity guidelines.
  7. Suppliers must comply with any additional instructions given to them by the NHS Identity team concerning the use of the NHS logo.


Last updated: 29/04/08