Some trusts previously thought to be considering breaking away from the Agenda for Change pay framework have told HSJ they will back a national deal following progress by unions and NHS Employers.

But others, including the South West Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium are to press ahead with plans, which it is hoped will lead to huge savings.

Earlier this month unions agreed a draft proposal to be considered by their executive committees. This would lead to significant reductions to staff terms and conditions if it is adopted.

Following the decision, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Foundation Trust decided to leave the consortium. It said it was encouraged by the national talks.

But the remaining 19 trusts have said they will continue work on a business case to draw up plans to break away from Agenda for Change and reduce the region’s pay bill.

Elsewhere, North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust, which is planning to sack 5,540 staff on 31 March and re-hire them on reduced terms and conditions, said it was continuing with its plans.

Trust director of human resources Clare Curran said: “The national proposal hasn’t yet been accepted. It is our understanding the details are still being worked through, therefore it wouldn’t be appropriate to stop our consultation until we are able to fully consider any final deal.”

But some trusts named earlier this month by the Labour Party as considering breaking away from Agenda for Change have said they now back the national negotiations.

A spokeswoman for South Tees Hospitals Foundation Trust said: “The trust remains supportive of the nationally determined Agenda for Change terms and conditions and hopes that the flexibilities being sought nationally are agreed.”

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust chair Sue Davis said the trust had no plans to move away from Agenda for Change.

“We continue to operate Agenda for Change terms and conditions of employment for our staff and currently have no plans to move away from it,” she said. “We are of course separately aware of proposed changes nationally to Agenda for Change provisions and which are the subject of trade unions consultation.”