Brits Ban Bare Midriffs and Cleavage -- for Hospital Employees

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Hospital Employees A U.K. hospital system has adopted a super strict dress code for its employees, banning, among other things, "exposed midriffs" and "excessive cleavage." For the most part, it's not the non-uniformed employees that they're trying to control, it's the doctors and nurses who are showing too much skin.

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust issued the strict new uniform policy for all staff after a series of complaints from patients. Makes you wonder what they were wearing that made the new regulations necessary, and if doctors and nurses exhibit the same strange sartorial selections in the U.S.

Also on the list of NHS Trust's no-nos are:

1. shorts

2. miniskirts

3. denim (no jeans)

4. leggings

5. sandals

6. hair ribbons

7. combs

8. beards and moustaches that are not ''clean and neatly trimmed''

9. offensive tattoos that can not be covered up

10. long fingernails

In addition, they request that veils and headscarves be tucked into staff uniforms and that personal hygiene should be considered, especially the ''lingering affects'' of cigarette smoke on breath and clothing.

Anyone who breaks the uniform policy will have to face disciplinary action.

A spokesman for North Hertfordshire NHS Trust told The Telegraph: ''The policy's aim is to ensure that all staff within the Trust, both those in uniform and those not, present a professional image at all times that gives the public confidence in the services being provided ... For many groups of staff, for example nurses, midwives, radiographers and pharmacists, this is achieved through wearing a uniform. For non-uniformed staff, however, it is important they too dress in a way that is both practical and professional in appearance.''

Would this kind of dress code fly in U.S. hospitals? Should it? Some of the prohibitions, like those against sandals, are for health and safety. Perhaps some people's midriffs or cleavage could be distracting? In any case, it seems the tattoo taboo would be the most difficult. Ink on fingers and knuckles has come into vogue, and unless gloves are worn, they're there for all the world to see -- as are other parts of the body when miniskirts and bare midriffs are worn.


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