HOSPITAL staff in Bradford have lodged formal disputes with their NHS Trust over privatisation.

UNISION members say they have formally notified bosses they could hold a ballot on industrial action over threats to their terms and conditions "if they are transferred to a wholly-owned subsidiary company."

The Telegraph & Argus reported in January that Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is looking at setting up a new company – separate from the hospital that will be responsible for services such as catering and cleaning.

Members of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Branch, the Bradford Health Branch and the Mid-Yorkshire NHS Trust may now be asked to vote on what industrial action they are prepared to take.

Natalie Ratcliffe, from the union, said: “UNISON is fighting against these proposed transfers because we believe these private companies will slash the pay and working conditions for future employees and drive people away from the NHS."