Managers, doctors, nurses, paramedics and porters were set to unite against government NHS reforms this week as their unions met to draw up a collective battle plan.

Managers, doctors, nurses, paramedics and porters were set to unite against government NHS reforms this week as their unions met to draw up a collective battle plan.

Unions Managers in Partnership, Unison, the Royal College of Nursing and the British Medical Association and affiliate staff organisations were set to present their united front to health secretary Patricia Hewitt at a meeting yesterday.

The unions have signed an unprecedented concordat, sponsored by the Trades Union Congress, in opposition to the 'pace of NHS reform' and the 'lack of consultation and engagement with staff' on both new reform and overall direction of travel. The unions have been consulting with their members over the last two weeks to establish a mandate for collective action.

Action will be planned around the TUC annual congress in September and the Labour Party conference later that month.

The plans come as protests against changes to local services are gathering pace around the country.

Managers in Partnership chief executive Jon Restell said the government's approach to reform over the past year has created the climate for joint action across NHS staff groups. 'The pace of change has united unions in a way that would not have been possible in the past,' he said.

He added that despite intense lobbying and even a damning Commons health select committee report since last July's Commissioning a Patient-led NHS policy, the government appeared to be determined to drive its reforms through without consultation.

Karen Jennings, head of health at Unison, said the unions were 'determined to mobilise' over current reforms. 'Since the election the government seems to have been determined to keep its foot on the reform accelerator with no consultation with staff and no testing,' she said. 'We want a halt to current reforms until proper piloting has been done to show what works.'

Unison is separately working on an alternative health manifesto, for which it hopes to get support from up to 60 Labour MPs in marginal seats.

A BMA spokesperson said it had sought involvement in collective action since members had given it a clear mandate at its annual conference in Belfast last month.

And RCN head of policy Howard Catton told HSJ that the lack of engagement with staff over policy development had led to this need for a united protest: 'We need the government to answer some fundamental questions,' he said.

'Tell us how the reforms will work in practice - how they will deliver value for money without destabilising local services.'

* Unison is to ballot members at supply agency NHS Logistics on strike action over plans to transfer its work to haulage company DHL.

Managers, doctors, nurses, paramedics and porters were set to unite against government NHS reforms this week as their unions met to draw up a collective battle plan.

Unions Managers in Partnership, Unison, the Royal College of Nursing and the British Medical Association and affiliate staff organisations were set to present their united front to health secretary Patricia Hewitt at a meeting yesterday.

The unions have signed an unprecedented concordat, sponsored by the Trades Union Congress, in opposition to the 'pace of NHS reform' and the 'lack of consultation and engagement with staff' on both new reform and overall direction of travel. The unions have been consulting with their members over the last two weeks to establish a mandate for collective action.

Action will be planned around the TUC annual congress in September and the Labour Party conference later that month.

The plans come as protests against changes to local services are gathering pace around the country.

Managers in Partnership chief executive Jon Restell said the government's approach to reform over the past year has created the climate for joint action across NHS staff groups. 'The pace of change has united unions in a way that would not have been possible in the past,' he said.

He added that despite intense lobbying and even a damning Commons health select committee report since last July's Commissioning a Patient-led NHSpolicy, the government appeared to be determined to drive its reforms through without consultation.

Karen Jennings, head of health at Unison, said the unions were 'determined to mobilise' over current reforms. 'Since the election the government seems to have been determined to keep its foot on the reform accelerator with no consultation with staff and no testing,' she said. 'We want a halt to current reforms until proper piloting has been done to show what works.'

Unison is separately working on an alternative health manifesto, for which it hopes to get support from up to 60 Labour MPs in marginal seats.

A BMA spokesperson said it had sought involvement in collective action since members had given it a clear mandate at its annual conference in Belfast last month.

And RCN head of policy Howard Catton told HSJthat the lack of engagement with staff over policy development had led to this need for a united protest: 'We need the government to answer some fundamental questions,' he said.

'Tell us how the reforms will work in practice - how they will deliver value for money without destabilising local services.'

* Unison is to ballot members at supply agency NHS Logistics on strike action over plans to transfer its work to haulage company DHL.