STRIKE action is set to be cancelled at the borough’s hospital trust after plans to create a private NHS company have been scrapped.

Workers at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust (WWL) carried out industrial action in a series of strikes over the creation of private company WWL Solutions in the last two months.

The move would have affected staff in positions such as cleaners, caterers and porters.

There were fears that if jobs were transferred from the trust to WWL Solutions then employees could be more vulnerable to pay cuts and changes to their contract.

But WWL has said it will now cancel proposals to create the company and agree to an offer made by Wigan Council.

The local authority has pledged to give the trust financial backing so it can invest in transforming services with hopes that it will make savings in the future.

Both unions involved in the strikes, Unison and Unite, have backed the move.

Wigan Council leader Cllr David Molyneux said: “We are very pleased the offer we have made has been accepted by both sides and it can now result in this dispute ending.

“We thank the trust for accepting the offer and the unions for playing a constructive role in working with the council.

"The option we have made has to be accepted on a permanent basis.

“It has been a difficult period for all involved including staff and patients.

"We look forward to everyone now working together for the benefit of our residents and the care they receive.”

Unison confirmed it will not carry out more strikes as long as the WWL Solutions proposals are withdrawn.

Unison North West regional secretary Kevan Nelson added: “Unison welcomes the decision to withdraw the proposed outsourcing of Estates and Facilities to WWL Solutions and thanks Wigan Council for its timely intervention.

“The hard working and loyal staff have demonstrated how much they value their employment in the National Health Service."

The council are working with health organisations in the borough such as WWL, Wigan Borough CCG and NW Boroughs as part of the Healthier Wigan Partnership.

Chairman of WWL, Robert Armstrong, said: “I am delighted that Wigan Council has been able to find a funding option that means we can withdraw our plan to create a wholly owned subsidiary.

“WWL has only ever wanted to protect the financial stability of the trust in order to preserve jobs and deliver high quality patient care.

“This is great partnership working in Wigan and the new way forward, of CCG and Council working with the hospital and the community, delivers that stability.”

Chairman of Wigan Borough CCG, Dr Tim Dalton, added: “This is very good news and I’m glad to see everyone putting the needs of patients first.”