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FAQs and Help

Why has the NHS colour palette changed?

The NHS colour palette has been expanded to give NHS organisations the flexibility to visually differentiate their communications from each other, but not from the NHS.

The following colour changes have been made:

NHS Light Blue (Pantone 298) replaces NHS Light Blue (Process Blue) to differentiate it more from NHS Blue (Pantone 300)

NHS Dark Pink (Pantone 683) replaces NHS Dark Pink (Pantone 676) to differentiate it more from NHS Dark Red (Pantone 1955)

The following new colours have been added:

  • NHS Bright Blue (Pantone 285)
  • NHS Dark Grey (Pantone 7545), NHS Mid Grey (Pantone 7544) and NHS Pale Grey (Pantone 7541)
  • NHS Pink (Pantone 675)
  • NHS Warm Yellow (Pantone 1235) and Euro Ambulance Yellow (RAL 1016 Sulphur Yellow)

Changes to RGB and Hex codes

We have updated the RGB and Hex codes (web references) on several of the colours that remain from the previous NHS colour palette (including NHS blue). This is because, since the NHS Identity was introduced in 1999, the technology for converting Pantone and CMYK into RGB has improved and there is a new industry standard for doing so.

We have used this standard to convert all the new colours added to the NHS colour palette from Pantone and CMYK into RGB, so for consistency, we have used it to update all the existing colours from the previous NHS colour palette The only colours which haven’t been converted using the new industry standard are NHS Pale Grey and the Euro Ambulance Yellow, which have been manually adjusted because the conversions were too dark.

As the RGB and Hex codes for NHS Blue have changed slightly, when you compare the old and the new NHS Blue, side-by-side you can see a small difference. However, as people should only come across either the old or the new NHS Blue on its own, they shouldn’t notice the change.