OPERATORS of Leighton Hospital have distanced themselves from suggestions that they are looking at reviewing staff terms and conditions.

This week, trade union, UNISON, said Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust (MCHFT) mooted changes to sickness pay in summer.

The claim comes amid Labour Party accusations that a group of foundation trusts in the south west have formed a ‘pay cartel’ in order to split from the national Agenda for Change pay framework.

The framework ensures that NHS non-medical staff are paid equally across the country, according to a rigid set of pay bands.

Labour’s official website reports that MCHFT is among 31 trusts that have explored alternative terms and conditions.

Unison north west regional organiser, Andy Rutherford, told The Crewe Guardian: “I can confirm that in the summer the trust suggested that they would wish to review the scheme, which in part forms a number of proposals from the North West NHS employers aimed at reducing costs.”

He added: “UNSION has resisted any changes to the NHS Agenda for Change Sickness scheme, as this is part of the National Agenda for Change terms and conditions.

“While we understand that under this government hospitals are being asked to make efficiency savings – cuts – we argue that attacking hard working front line members’ terms and conditions is not the way to do it.”

A spokesman for MCHFT, which employs 3,200 people, said: “MCHFT does not have any plans, at the current time, to move away from national terms and conditions.

“The Trust is aware of the discussions taking place at a national level and will continue to monitor this position.”