The UK arm of European workwear manufacturer Alsico has won a contract to help bring in a new standardised uniform for all NHS staff working in clinical roles in England.

It has been awarded preferred bidder status onto the National Healthcare Uniform Framework. The eight-figure contract will see Alsico responsible for providing a new standardised approach to clinical uniforms across England.

The new partnership has been awarded after a two-year consultative tender process that saw uniform providers across the globe competing for the five-year contract.

Alsico successfully secured the “vast majority share” of the nationwide contract. As a result, in partnership and collaboration with NHS Supply Chain, it will lead the roll-out of the new framework for a standardised national healthcare uniform for all NHS clinical staff in England.

The introduction of the national, culturally sensitive uniform aims to make it easier for patients and the public to recognise and identify the workforce of more than 600,000 clinical staff.

David Toon, managing director at Alsico, said: “This new national uniform has to be fit for purpose, easy to wear and, most of all, make the users feel empowered to continue doing their life-saving work.

“I feel incredibly proud to be leading the team that will deliver a safe and professional uniform across the country that has thought about equality, diversity and inclusion as well as value for money and sustainability.

“The consultation process of this tender was one of the most important we have been involved in. This win forms part of our continued growth and will see us become even closer to the huge variety of healthcare workers in uniforms to understand their evolving needs better and drive towards increased comfort, protection and recognition.”

The NHS launched a seven-week consultation phase asking its employees for their views and input before the tender process began.

Diane Woodham, category manager at NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative, said: “I am sure for many it feels that we have been waiting for this day for a long time, with the unexpected, yet unavoidable, delays caused by the impact of Covid-19.

“I am proud to be leading the team for this project. We are looking forward to working together and continuing to engage across the NHS to bring this project to reality to deliver the national healthcare uniform the NHS workforce deserves.”

Alsico was founded in 1934 in Belgium and has since grown to become one of Europe’s largest workwear providers, responsible for despatching over 18 million garments a year.

The brand’s UK operations were established in Preston in Lancashire in 2007 to tap into a new approach to workplace clothing for large sectors in the UK including laundry, manufacturing and healthcare.

Greg Houlston, general manager at Alsico, said: “It’s an amazing achievement to not have only retained our partnership with NHS Supply Chain but shifted to now become the main supplier in such an important national roll-out.

“Our strong track record of already working with many NHS trusts is something we are incredibly proud of. With this win, we will only strengthen our relationship as we deliver a consistent uniform that we hope improves professional identity and patient safety.

“Healthcare remains one of our core sectors in the UK, and we are really pleased to be utilising our deep knowledge of the user requirements and innovative approach to workwear in order to continue developing our position across all sectors of this market.”