Central Manchester Healthcare trust may face a legal challenge to its decision to outsource food production to the King's Mill Hospital, which was made during the closed part of a board meeting.

Central Manchester community health council chief officer Nik Barstow said it had received legal advice that this 'appears to be in breach of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act', and 'may be open to challenge' .

Unison's central Manchester healthcare branch secretary Mike Folliard said he was waiting for 'similar legal advice' from union lawyers.

'If the case adds up, Unison will definitely pursue it.'

Sixteen long-serving qualified chefs face redundancy, while food will now have to travel 40 miles from the Nottinghamshire hospital to the Manchester hospital.

Trust finance director John Scampion said: 'We've had legal advice and believe what we did was quite appropriate.'