Staff have won their battle against the “backdoor privatisation” of some Bradford NHS services after new proposals were scrapped.

During the summer, more than 300 Unison members, who work for the NHS, went on strike for a total of three weeks.

This came amid proposals from the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to create a private “wholly-owned subsidiary company” – Bradford Healthcare Facilities Management Ltd (BHFML).

The plan was to transfer jobs – including porters, domestic and security staff – to the new company in order to cut costs.

But the proposal has now been scrapped after lengthy negotiations, both Unison and the Trust have announced. The decision came from a final meeting of the Trust’s Board on Friday.

This was after three months of “constructive talks” between the Trust and Unison, which focused on exploring alternative service models.

Chief Executive of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Mel Pickup, said: “The Board, which has at its heart the need to provide high quality, safe patient care, has decided not to continue with plans to create a new company.”

The new company - BHFML - will not be established and all staff employed within Estates, Facilities and Clinical Engineering will remain directly employed by the Trust.

Ms Pickup said: “We have taken this decision for the right reasons: we have listened to staff who were affected by the change and heard their concerns.

“And we were not prepared to compromise on patient safety by risking further industrial action over the winter period.”

At the time of the strikes, the Trust denied it was privatising services, stating that the development of the new company was “essential”.

The Trust maintains that financial challenges still remain. Ms Pickup said: “The reasons for seeking to set up the new company have not changed and we now must work together with staff and UNISON to find alternative ways to make productivity gains within these important support services.

“Our aim remains making the services outstanding and providing a secure future for everyone who works within them.”

Several Unison officials declared they are overjoyed at the decision.

Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “It’s good news for the staff who will continue to be employed by the NHS.

“Splitting workers within the same Trust between different employers makes no sense and adds further complications to patient care.”

Unison Regional Organiser Natalie Ratcliffe said: “Our members will be overjoyed with this decision. They should be enormously proud of the sacrifices they made to save the NHS for all of us. We are also thankful that the Trust has re-considered its position and says it wants to rebuild morale, trust and team spirit.”