Hide sidebar

Suppliers of branded items

The letters ‘NHS’ and the NHS logo are protected by law. They are UK trademarks owned by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and may not be used without permission.

Approved printers and suppliers of identity badges, lanyards, uniforms and stationery items have standing permission to use the NHS logo on these items if they are on the NHS Supply Chain framework or contracted directly by an NHS organisation.

NHS organisations can commission the production of other merchandise branded with their organisational logo and gift them to staff but cannot use the letters ‘NHS’ or the core NHS logo on other branded merchandise. Permitted items that NHS organisations can use their organisational logo on include pens, badges, tote bags, clothing (but not uniform) or mugs. You may only buy branded merchandise from approved suppliers who are on the NHS Supply Chain framework or commission it as a bespoke order from a supplier contracted directly by an NHS organisation.

Please consider whether branded items are necessary before committing to buy them; you must be able to demonstrate that the benefits would justify the use of public money.  Items branded with the NHS logo are for an NHS organisation’s internal use only and must not be sold or given as a gift to staff, patients, or the public.

Suppliers of staff identification items and other NHS branded items/merchandise

Approved suppliers of any NHS branded items must comply with all of the following criteria. Failure to do so will mean that your use of the logo is unauthorised and may result in legal action being taken against you.

  1. Items cannot be held in stock and must be manufactured to order once commissioned by an NHS organisation or an organisation with a contract to deliver NHS health services.
  2. Payment must come directly from an NHS organisation or an organisation with a contract to deliver NHS health services. Items cannot be sold directly to individuals and must not be sold or advertised for sale on third party websites.
  3. Items must be delivered to the address of the buying NHS organisation or the address of the buying organisation with a contract to deliver NHS health services.
  4. Suppliers must make it clear to anyone commissioning their services that points 2 and 3 above apply and are conditions for providing items bearing the NHS logo.
  5. Except for illustrations of example wares, suppliers are not permitted to use the NHS logo, or an NHS organisation’s logo, in any of their promotional material, including on their websites. Learn more about our identity guidelines.
  6. Any items sold as uniform must comply with the criteria in the “branded uniforms” section of the NHS Identity guidelines.
  7. Suppliers must use the NHS logo in accordance with the NHS Identity guidelines.
  8. Suppliers must comply with any additional instructions given to them by the trademark owner or the owner’s authorised representatives about the use of the NHS logo.

Third party suppliers must not sell (whether directly or via third-party websites) branded items using the NHS logo to a non-NHS organisation, including members of the general public or directly to NHS staff, without written permission from the Department of Health and Social Care. Only in exceptional circumstances would permission be granted as third parties may not profit from use of the NHS Identity.