Further help and information

If you haven't found the information you’re looking for, our comprehensive FAQs may give you the answers. There is also information here on how to make the most of the site and use the search facility.

If you need further assistance please contact the NHS Identity Helpline:

Telephone:
020 7972 5250 or 020 7972 5261
E-mail:
nhs.identity@dh.gsi.gov.uk

FAQs

NHS Comms Link

What is NHS Comms Link?

NHS Comms Link is a secure, 'one-stop-shop' enabling NHS communicators to share news, resources, ideas and experiences.

 

Who can use NHS Comms Link?

Access is restricted to people working in NHS communications in England. For further Information visit the NHS Comms Link website at: http://www.nhscommslink.nhs.uk

Primary care trusts new guidance

Why has a new branding solution been developed for Primary Care Trusts (PCTs)?

A number of PCTs expressed an interest in changing their NHS logotypes, becoming NHS 'Local' rather than 'Local' Primary Care Trust, to better reflect their increasing role as the local leader of the NHS, as front-line commissioner of patient care and their need to play a greater public facing role and engage their local populations. The new branding solution has been developed to help PCTs achieve this.

Do all PCTs have to change their logotypes?

PCTs are free to choose whether or not they adopt the new branding solution.

Where should PCTs use the new logotype?

The new logotype should be used to brand all PCT communications materials (website, stationery, signage, leaflets, annual reports etc). We recommend that PCTs make the transition to their new identity when it is practically and economically feasible to do so, for example by exhausting existing supplies of stationery and updating property such as signage through planned replacement programmes. All materials produced must also follow the NHS brand guidelines set out on this website.

How do I order a new logotype?

You can order your NHS logotype free of charge by filling out our online order form selecting 'Primary care trust - new guidance' on the order form.

Why must PCTs still use their full legal name on materials?

Primary Care Trusts are established under the NHS Act 2006 by means of a PCT Order. The 2006 Act provides that a PCT Order must specify the name of the PCT. This new branding solution does not change the full legal name of the PCT so the legal name of the PCT will remain the name set out in its PCT Order. It is therefore important that the legal name is used in all commercial and legal transactions by the PCT to ensure that it is correctly identified as a party to the transaction. Equally, it is important that the public is aware that there has been no change to the PCT's legal name and so on all documents produced by the PCT, its legal name should appear together with the new public facing name.

What if we want to change our PCT name?

PCTs adopting the new branding solution should retain their current names in their new logotype e.g. Liverpool Primary Care Trust would become NHS Liverpool. Any PCT wishing to change its name would need to follow the usual process to change its name via its establishment order. Please see name changes for more details.

How much will this all cost?

The cost will vary from PCT to PCT. However, PCTs may order their new logotypes free of charge by filling out our online order form, and selecting 'Primary care trust new guidance' on the order form. To keep costs to a minimum, we recommend PCTs make the transition to their new identity when it is practically and economically feasible to do so, for example by exhausting existing supplies of stationery and updating property such as signage through planned replacement programmes.

How does this affect Teaching PCTs?

Teaching PCTs wishing to adopt the new branding solution will need to drop the word 'Teaching' from their logotypes, where this appears. Other than this they should follow the guidelines as set out for PCTs and continue to use their full legal names as set out in their Establishment Orders i.e. Anyshire Teaching Primary Care Trust on all materials. Teaching PCTs may continue to refer to their teaching status in the body copy of materials.

Does this apply to Care trusts?

Care trusts will remain unaffected by the change.

Your logotype

Where do we get our logotype?

Contact your Communications Department as it will have a high-resolution version of your logotype. If you are a new organisation or your organisation’s name is changing, complete the artwork order form and send to the NHS Identity team.

What if we've lost our logotype?

If you have checked with your Communications Department and it doesn’t have a copy of your logotype, call or email the NHS Helpline on 020 7972 5250 or nhs.identity@dh.gsi.gov.uk to order a duplicate copy.

Can I order another copy of another trust's logotype?

No. Each individual trust is responsible for its own logotype so if you need a copy of another organisation’s logotype first check with their Communications Department. If they don’t have a copy they will need to contact the NHS Identity Helpline on 020 7972 5250.

What is an exclusion zone?

This is the clear space around a logo or logotype where nothing else must appear.

 

The clear space around the NHS logo is equal to the height of the NHS lozenge.

 

If the logo is positioned on a background image, this can be considered clear space as long as it doesn’t impair the visibility or legibility of the logo.

 

Find out more about the exclusion zone.

Do we have to use our full organisation logo on everything or can we use the NHS logo on its own?

The national NHS logo can be used on its own, but in those instances you should include the name of your organisation somewhere on the materials to demonstrate your accountability.

Using or creating other logos

Can we create a new logo for a new initiative/unit etc?

The NHS identity policy does not allow new or alternative logos to be used within the NHS, including new logos for campaigns, units, programmes etc. This is to avoid competing with the NHS logo and compromising its integrity.

 

Identities, such as crests and insignia, which have been closely associated with hospitals prior to the establishment of the NHS in 1948, may be retained and used on stationery, and other printed communications and signage according to the design styles guidance.

If we are working in partnership with an outside organisation can we use their logo in our stationery?

Yes. If you are working in partnership with a non-NHS organisation you may use their logo on stationery and any material relating directly to the project or campaign you are working on together.

 

It is recommended that you explain the relationship in the space reserved at the bottom of the letterhead, as seen on the example stationery in the Use of the NHS logo section.

Can we use our Charter Marks?

Yes, Charter Marks, such as the Investors in People logo, can be used at the bottom of letterheads and adverts in black only.

Charity Logos

Can we use our charity logo?

You can use your charity logo on marketing material for the fundraising/charity project only. On all corporate material only the NHS logotype should be used. Registered charities can create their own logos, as they are separate organisations to the NHS.

Creating individual and distinctive communications

Can we create our own visual look and feel for promotion/marketing campaigns within the NHS guidelines?

Yes, you can create your own look and feel and still work within the NHS identity guidelines. By using a combination of colour and typefaces from the NHS guidelines, together with images, you can achieve an individual look for campaigns, initiatives and publications.

 

However, no new or alternative logos or visual devices should be developed within the NHS and all materials should carry the NHS logo. A logo can be described as a distinctive and identifying mark, sign or symbol.

 

You can find out more in the section on design styles

Can we add straplines to our communication materials?

No slogans or straplines should be used on corporate material unless part of a specific health campaign. A slogan is a catch phrase, like Nike’s ‘Just do it’ or Coke’s ‘The real thing’.

Outside organisations using the NHS logo and your local logotype

Can outside organisations use the NHS logo?

It depends. The NHS logo can only be used by NHS organisations, or on services and information that the NHS has had some involvement in. This is to protect the NHS from being seen as the source of materials that have not originated from the NHS.

 

If something has been produced with the support or endorsement of the NHS, but is not jointly produced by the NHS, then a line of text can be used, such as ‘This initiative receives funding from Anyshire NHS Trust’. The NHS logo should not be used in this context.

Can suppliers use the NHS logo or my local organisation logotype?

No. The NHS logo can only be used by NHS organisations, or on services and information that the NHS has had some involvement in. This is to protect the NHS from being seen as the source of materials that have not originated from the NHS.

 

If suppliers want to promote the fact that they supply to you then, with your permission, they can either explain in text or show a visual of the product they have delivered, eg your printer showing a picture of the stationery they print for you.

What if we are working in partnership with another organisation?

If producing material in partnership with another organisation then that organisation can use the NHS logo on any material relating to the joint venture only.

Does this mean I can't give out our logotype to third parties?

No. You will need to give a high-resolution of your logotype out to third parties, such as designers and printers, who are producing work on your behalf.

Colour

Is there a range of colours that can be used for campaigns, brochures etc?

Yes, you can view the NHS colour palette.

Can I use any coloured paper for brochures/leaflets?

Yes. There is no restriction on the colour of paper stock you can use to print your leaflets on. When you are printing on coloured paper your logotype should always be in black.

Can I print a coloured background?

Yes, you can print on a coloured background, as long as the colour is from the NHS colour palette.

 

  • If you print on a white or NHS Yellow background the logo must be NHS Blue or black; lettering within the logo should be white.
  • If you use other colours within the NHS colour palette as a background colour the logo should be reversed out; lettering within the logo should be the same colour as the background.
  • On a light-coloured background the NHS logo should be NHS Blue or black and you should ensure there is sufficient contrast to ensure clarity.

What is the RAL number for NHS blue?

RAL 5017

Typefaces

What if we don't have access to the Frutiger font?

If you don’t have access to the Frutiger font then your local printer is likely to hold a licensed copy for printed materials. A single licence of Frutiger is supplied with your logotype and can be used on one machine in your organisation only.

 

Arial can be used for internally produced documents as an alternative to Frutiger.

Can we order more than one copy of the Frutiger font?

No. There is only one licence of Frutiger per NHS organisation, which is supplied on disk with the logotype. The NHS is unable to provide further copies of this font to other departments within the organisation or third-party suppliers. Arial can be used for internally produced documents as an alternative to Frutiger.

What is leading?

Leading is the distance between the lines of type. The suggested 9pt and 11pt measurements are adjustable but you must ensure that copy is clearly laid out.

Stationery

Where do I put the logo and our name?

Always in the top right-hand corner. Refer to the stationery guidance for your NHS organisation in the All Guidelines section of this site.

We are producing a letterhead that covers more than one NHS organisation. How do we position the logos?

You will need to follow the non-statutory guidelines as only one copy of the NHS logo should be used on any one document.

Where does the name and address of the Chairman and Chief Executive go?

Although not compulsory, they can go in the footer (bottom of the page).

Can A5 letterhead be used?

Yes, in the same way as the A4 letterhead.

Where can I put the email address?

Either underneath the address or in the footer. On business cards and compliment slips you can place the email address where it fits.

Guidance for different types of organisations (including non statutory bodies)

We are not a trust or health authority but a shared service operating over several NHS organisations. What should our logo look like?

As you are a non-statutory organisation you should follow the non-statutory guidelines

How do we know if we are not a non-statutory organisation?

If you are a service-providing body, such as a unit or department within an NHS trust, a shared service, or a health promotion agency and are accountable to and/or funded by one NHS organisation or by a partnership between different organisations.

Some examples of non-statutory organisations include:

 

  • NHS walk-in-centres;
  • dental access centres
  • health promotion units;
  • primary care support agencies;
  • units within an NHS trust; and
  • multi-trust working groups.

 

The other important distinction is that you aren’t a legal entity in your own right as you don’t have an Establishment Order.

What is an Establishment Order?

The Secretary of State for Health, who is responsible for the NHS, has the power to establish NHS trusts and other organisations. An Establishment Order is the official, contract which recognises the NHS organisation as a statutory (legal) body.

How do I know if my organisation has an Establishment Order?

Your trust’s board secretary or corporate affairs team will hold details of your Establishment Order if you have one.

Patient Information Toolkit

Are there any design templates available?

Yes. The design templates have been produced in Quark Xpress™ for both Apple Mac and PC platforms. You can download these design templates.

Why are the templates produced in Quark Xpress?

Quark Xpress is a common desktop publishing package. The templates will enable a designer or printer to produce good-quality professional results.

Are the templates available in Adobe InDesign?

No, at the present time the templates are only available in Quark Xpress.

Do we have to follow the designs shown in the guidelines?

The design styles shown in the Patient Information Toolkit are optional. If you do not wish to use them please ensure any design you use meets the NHS corporate identity guidelines and the requirement of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Photo library

Where can we get hold of suitable images?

The Department of Health (DH) manages an online NHS Photo Library accessible at www.nhs.uk/photolibrary for the NHS and related social care organisations.

Are the images free?

The images are currently available free of charge to those from the NHS or related social care organisations.

Protective clothing

Where can we order protective clothing?

Protective clothing can be ordered from the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency. The switchboard number is 01244 586700

Main signage

What should our signs look like?

There are guidelines for main signage.

 

For internal signage a full manual has been written by the NHS called ‘Wayfinding’ and is available from The Stationery Office on telephone number 0870 600 5522 or web-site: www.tso.co.uk/bookshop.

 

You can also read guidance in the section on internal and wayfinding signage.

Property and other material

Are guideline available for branding property (such as vehicles and uniforms)?

Yes, for full guidance, take a look at the section of this site that covers branding property guidance for your NHS organisation in the All Guidelines section of this site.

Where should the NHS logo be placed?

The NHS logo should appear, if possible, in the top right-hand corner.

Where should the NHS logo go on ID badges?

Your full NHS logo should be in the top right-hand corner. Then further down and outside the exclusion zone you can have the name of the person, their job title, their department, or all three, in whichever order you prefer. You can view a badge example.

Where should the NHS logo go on uniforms?

Your full NHS logo style can be placed on the left shoulder. Alternatively, the NHS logo can be placed on the left shoulder and the name of the hospital on the right shoulder. You can view uniform examples.

Where should the NHS logo go on posters?

The logo should be positioned in the top-right hand corner. However if this is not possible then place it in the bottom right-hand corner.

Where should the NHS logo go on vehicles?

You should be practical and find an area where it best fits. Please bear in mind the identity principles regarding communication and the use of the NHS logo outlined in the section on vehicles.

Do we have to use the full organisation logo or can we use the NHS logo on its own?

You can use the NHS logo on its own where it is not practical to use the full organisation name. The decision can be taken locally.

Should the logo appear on carpets and mats?

No. Although carpets and mats can be produced using the NHS corporate colours.

Primary care

Can pharmacies use the NHS logo?

Pharmacies delivering NHS services can use the NHS logo. Specific guidance is available for Pharmacies.

Can GPs use the NHS logo?

Yes. There are specific guidelines showing how GPs can introduce the NHS Identity in their surgeries.

Can dentists and opticians use the new logo?

Dentists and opticians can use the logo in limited circumstances.

Independent ambulance providers

Can independent ambulance providers use the NHS identity on their marketing material?

No. As with any other third party organisation, independent ambulance providers cannot use the NHS identity for their own sales or marketing purposes, under any circumstances. If the organisation wishes to promote the fact that they offer services to the NHS, they may list their NHS clients in text only, or produce case studies of the specific services offered.

Can independent ambulance providers use the NHS identity on their vehicles?

No. Independent ambulance providers cannot carry the NHS logo on their vehicles.

 

The only exception to this rule is when both the private ambulance vehicle and driver are solely contracted to a particular NHS trust. In the case of a 100% contract with a NHS trust, the trust could allow the private ambulance service to mark the ambulance with the trust's own logotype and the following statement '(Ambulance provider name) working in partnership with (NHS trust's name)'. This decision rests with the local NHS trust.

What is the Ambulance Crown Badge?

The Crown Badge presents a uniform design for the NHS ambulance service so that it is readily identifiable. The Crown Badge is customised for each NHS ambulance trust by Garter King of Arms (College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4BT).

Who is entitled to use the Ambulance Crown Badge?

Only NHS ambulance trusts are entitled to use the Ambulance Crown Badge. Individual NHS ambulance trusts are entitled to use their customised Ambulance Service Crown Badge in all aspects of their work.

 

Independent sector providers and manufacturers are not authorised to use the Crown Badge or to modify or recreate the Crown Badge.

United Kingdom NHS contact details

Who do I contact regarding the correct use of the NHS identity within other areas of the UK?

This website covers use of the NHS identity within England only. If you have any queries about the correct use of the Scottish or Welsh NHS identities or Northern Ireland's corporate identity please see the below contact details.

 

Scotland


For questions relating to the Scottish Executive corporate identity, visit the NHS Scotland Identity website at: www.show.scot.nhs.uk/nhsscotlandci/

 

Wales


For questions relating to the Wales NHS corporate identity, email: nhswaleslogo@wales.gsi.gov.uk. For further Information download the Welsh NHS Identity guidelines available from the following web address: www.wales.nhs.uk/documents/nhs-guidelines-e.pdf

 

Northern Ireland


For questions relating to the use of the Department of Health and Social Services identity for Northern Ireland, email: identity@northernireland.gov.uk.