A £1.5m programme to introduce colour-coded NHS uniforms in Wales could be scrapped after scores of nurses complained that the items caused painful rashes.

The outfits, designed to make different grades of staff easier to identify, are currently being rolled out in the Hywel Dda and Betsi Cadwaladr University health boards.

A spokesman for the Welsh Assembly said that while the problems had only affected “a minority” of workers, concern for the welfare of staff was “paramount”.

He added that those experiencing any kind of irritation had been offered alternative uniforms, supplies of which were plentiful.

The fabric in question is understood to have undergone extensive testing before being used in the outfit.

Tina Donnelly, director of the Royal College of Nursing in Wales, urged members of staff to report any problems to their relevant department at the earliest opportunity so that outstanding issues could be dealt with quickly.