Unison has said it is disappointed by the NHS pay review body's decision not to ask the government to re-open the three-year pay deal.

Unison head of health Karen Jennings said: "Whilst inflation has started to come down, Unison members entered into the three-year deal in good faith, based on government predictions that inflation had peaked and would fall. Yet health workers have experienced big increases in food prices and other costs over the past nine months."

She said she was pleased that the pay review body would look again at the position in autumn 2009.

The three-year deal gave a 2.75 per cent increase from April 2008, 2.54 per cent in the second year and 2.5 per cent in the third year.