A number of PCTs have recently made decisions to adopt the “NHS [location]” brand in place of their full name as set out in their establishment orders. These decisions have been made following draft guidance issued by the Department of Health in relation to an internal consultation process. However, this consultation has not yet been concluded and NHS Identity (NHS branding helpline no. 0207 972 1501) is currently advising PCTs not to proceed with any re-branding until the consultation exercise has been concluded and the final national guidance is made available. PCTs should look out for news on this on the NHS communication service, Commslink, which can be accessed at  www.nhscommslink.nhs.uk/public/default.aspx.

Primary care trusts who have already re-branded should note that this decision does not change their official legal name of “[Location] Primary Care Trust” as set out in their establishment order. Therefore, all legal documents should continue to bear their full name. In particular all contracts, including NHS contracts, should still be entered into in the full name of the PCT. Best practice would indicate that, where the PCT has changed its stationery to reflect its new brand, the full name of the PCT should also still be evident on the stationery.