Launch NHS-Ready WP Sites: NHS.UK Theme

This is a production ready release, with the caveat that any issues should be reported as an issue on this repo for quick action. Feedback is positively encouraged, please see how to get involved below

Frutiger Font

The Frutiger font is specified for use on NHS web properties, but is only licensed for sites ending - if your site is both an NHS property and is on the correct domain, you can add this back in by making your own child theme and adding in the below font declarations to a .scss file.

font-family: 'Frutiger W01';
font-display: swap;
font-style: normal;
font-weight: 400;
src: url('');
src: url('') format('eot'),
     url('') format('woff2'),
     url('') format('woff'),
     url('') format('truetype'),
     url('') format('svg');
@font-face {
font-family: 'Frutiger W01';
font-display: swap;
font-style: normal;
font-weight: 600;
src: url('');
src: url('') format('eot'),
     url('') format('woff2'),
     url('') format('woff'),
     url('') format('truetype'),
     url('') format('svg');


  • This theme requires an active WordPress install of version 5.5 or higher
  • optional For any editing of the theme (in particular the css files) we strongly advise you to use the NPM installation route detailed in Optional Settings below.

Installation for standard use

  • navigate to your WordPress Admin, click Appearance in the left hand menu
  • Select "Add New" at the top of the screen
  • in the search box, type "nightingale"
  • Select this theme in the returned search results, click the blue Install button
  • After a few seconds the install button will change to Installing, then to Activate. Click this
  • Navigate to Appearance > Customise to select your configuration.

Installation for programmers who wish to amend in detail

  • Add to your WordPress files, in the wp-content/themes folder
  • Activate the theme
    • You will be prompted to install the Gutenberg plugin. Please do so and activate it.
    • You will be prompted to install the NHS Blocks plugin. Please do so and activate it. This adds pre-configured components to your page/post editing pages to keep within the NHSUK design framework.
    • You will be prompted to install the Nightingale Companion plugin. Please do so and activate it. This adds important performance and functionality improvements.
    • You will be advised to install Cookie Notice plugin (see Optional Settings section below)
  • To populate the site with basic elements, we suggest the following:
    • Enable the subpages widget in the sidebar. Configuration works best if you select use parent page as title, show subpages, and enable ul for subpages
    • Create a top menu assigned to the Main Menu region and add your default homepage. You can add extra pages later. N.B. the top menu will only show top level links, it does not display any dropdowns for sub pages (hence the need for the subpages widget in sidebar)
    • Create a footer menu assigned to the Footer Links region and add at least one link. Again this is static links only, it has no dropdown functionality
  • Userguide for theme customiser and options is available at

Optional Settings

  • This theme will suggest you pull in the NHS.UK Frontend Library via node if you install using the optional commands above for local development of the theme itself.

Feedback / Improvement / Development

  • If you see any issues, faults or have suggestions for improvements, please add them as issues to our Git repository so we can action them.
  • If you have developed improvements, please consider giving back to the Open Source community by submitting them as pull requests to this repository

Developing this theme's styling output

if you are developing this theme locally, any style changes you make will need to be reflected in the output

To accomplish this, you will need to take the following steps:

  • Install npm locally npm install
  • Compile the css from all the downstream libraries and local files npm run build
  • Compress the css output npm run compress
  • Regenerate the critical css npm run critical

Alternatively, if you only wish to modify minimal css for a single site, you can use the Custom CSS section within the theme customiser section.

Please note

  • XML/RPC is still enabled - this is a WordPress default, but will trigger National Cyber Security Centre monitoring alerts. To disable XML-RPC you can add: add_filter('xmlrpc_enabled', '__return_false'); To your themes functions.php file, or if your hosting permits you can disable/block it at server level.

Compatability with plugins / WordPress extensions

This theme has been extended to style the following plugins automatically:

  •  Gravity Forms
  •  Most Gravity Perks extensions (please let us know if you are using a GP extension that is not correctly styled)
  •  Formidable Forms
  •  LearnDash - please use the latest version of LD and use the LD30 theme with no primary, secondary or tertiary colours defined
  •  Download Monitor
  •  The Events Calendar - Please use the 'Skeleton Styles' display template
  •  WP HTML Email


  •  Load in the NHS Frontend library
  •  Style header, amend markup to match expected output
  •  Provide zone for WordPress controlled menu (Customizer)
  •  Provide alternative header for NHS Organisations with white logo including title
  •  Style sidebar to match contents list styling
  •  Pagination styling
  •  Footer styling and WordPress menu inclusion
  •  Re-style core images output
  •  Re-style core buttons output
  •  Provide multiple button styles (via NHSBlocks plugin)
  •  Style tables
  •  Restrict Editor colour palettes to NHS Brand guideline colours
  •  Search results page layout
  •  Template layout code
  •  Typographic classes
  •  Breadcrumb trail styling and addition
  •  Forms elements
  •  Add Gravity Forms compatibility
  •  Add LearnDash compatibility
  •  Add WP HTML Emails compatibility
  •  Add The Events Calendar compatability
  •  Add theme update routine
  •  Composer build (including auto load NHSL Blocks plugin)
  •  Dependancy hint to suggest or force plugin dependancy load (for non-composer install)
  •  Widgetize footer region
  •  Widgetize 404 page
  •  Alternative navigation aid to Tabs
  •  Device checks (mobile, tablet, TV etc)
  •  Print layout / styling
  •  Accessibility audit

Deprecated / Removed

  •  Emergency alert - (moved to Nightingale-Companion plugin)
  •  Feedback Banner - Removed (plugin functionality rather than presentation)
  •  Custom Gutenburg Blocks (moved to NHSBlocks plugin)
  •  Native Gutenberg blocks (moved to NHSBlocks)
  •  Add Hero banner (moved to NHSBlocks plugin)
  •  Performance Improvements (moved to Nightingale-Companion plugin)


The codebase is released under the GNU General Public License v3.0, unless stated otherwise. The upstream NHS Frontend Library is released under the MIT license, for details please see NHSUK Frontend. The documentation is © Crown copyright and available under the terms of the Open Government License 3.0. Please see the National Archives website for more information on the Open Government Licensing Framework.


  • The latest posts block has been rewritten to allow all Gutenberg options to carry through to the front end output , except if you select grid view and more than 4 columns (currently you can select up to 6) then the output reverts to 3 columns [theme default]. This will be a setting that can be overridden in future but is not currently available - see

Download Details:

Author: NHSLeadership

Official Github: 



Launch NHS-Ready WP Sites: NHS.UK Theme
1.10 GEEK