Health workers believe that plans to introduce regional pay and conditions would have a “devastating” impact on their lives, according to a report.

A survey by Unison of 1,000 NHS employees in the South West showed virtually everyone was concerned about the prospect of pay cuts, increased hours and performance-related pay under plans by a group of 20 health trusts in the region.

Unison said some of those surveyed would have to cut down on essentials such as food, and might not be able to pay their mortgage, if their wages were cut following years of having their pay frozen.

The union will brief MPs on Wednesday on the “dangers” of introducing regional pay and conditions.

Christina McAnea, Unison’s head of health, said: “We know that health staff across the country are under incredible pressure. This survey shows that the South West pay cartel’s plans could push health workers in the region to breaking point.

“Some of the responses to our survey were heartbreaking. Health workers are worried for themselves, their mental health and their finances.

“They are worried about the impact on their families, but also what these changes would mean for their patients.

“In our briefing with MPs we will be warning that these plans not only contain risks to the smooth delivery of services to patients, but are also deeply unpopular politically. We will be urging them to put pressure on the trusts in their areas to put a stop to these damaging plans.”

A spokesman for the consortium of NHS Trusts said: “The south west pay, terms and conditions consortium has not put forward any plans, proposals or recommendations regarding amendments to pay terms and conditions for staff working in member organisations.

“The consortium is currently looking at ways in which amendments to pay, terms and conditions might support member trusts in maintaining financial health and organisational stability now and in the years ahead in the face of unprecedented operational and financial challenges.”