Unite national officer for health Sarah Carpenter said: “A story appeared in The Guardian today (Friday 9 March) about an impending pay deal for NHS staff.

“Unite, along with fellow NHS unions, has been closely involved with these pay talks since December and we are very close to a final position which we will be putting to our members for their consideration.

“However, the details in the article are incomplete, unconfirmed and inaccurate in part. The consequences of such an article could either scupper the chances of health workers getting a decent deal after years of pay austerity or to prevent the NHS trade unions being able to present the final position to the media on behalf of our members.

“Either way, spreading incomplete information is unhelpful at this delicate juncture in the negotiations.

“Unite will be working really hard to ensure that the details of the proposed package are finalised and - more importantly – keep the pressure on the government to confirm the funding so that we can finish the talks and ensure that the final details go to our membership for their views.

“I want to reassure our members that they will not be asked to make any final decisions until they have the full package about how any proposals will affect them.”