Sydney hospital security protest uniforms

Security guards at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital say their new uniform is "inappropriate".
Security guards at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital say their new uniform is "inappropriate".

Security officers in Akubra hats, suits and RM Williams boots sounds like it could be the backdrop of a western movie but it will soon be the norm across some Sydney hospitals.

The outfit is the new uniform that security guards at Royal Prince Alfred hospital and several other Sydney hospitals are expected to wear from Wednesday.

But RPA security guards will instead dress in union T-shirts as they protest against the "inappropriate" uniforms imposed by management, Health Services Union NSW branch secretary Gerard Hayes said.

The uniforms, which Mr Hayes estimates will cost the government about $1000 each, will replace their current police-style attire.

Mr Hayes says it "beggars belief" the security officers are expected to wear an Akubra hat, suit and boots while interacting and caring for patients.

"It's not like you're a concierge at the Hilton," Mr Hayes told AAP.

"People will vomit on you, officers will be dealing with patients who may be distressed and violent, and ice addicts in the emergency department."

Members have taken a firm stance refusing to wear the new uniform despite possible disciplinary action by management, Mr Hayes said.

"It's not a fashion statement, it needs to be a uniform," he said.

The new uniform also applies to security guards at Balmain, Canterbury, Concord Repatriation and Sydney Dental hospitals.

Australian Associated Press