A NHS trust has scrapped plans to outsource more than 500 staff to a private company.

The proposal would have seen around 600 employees, including maintenance workers, porters, housekeepers and caterers outsourced from the Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust to the private company Tees Esk and Wear Valleys Estates FM Limited.

Unions had voiced "serious concerns" about the proposals, claiming the plans would be a move away from national Agenda for Change terms and conditions of employment, which would affect holiday entitlement and sick pay.

Labour MPs in Tees Valley also threw their weight behind the campaign against the proposal.

Unions had planned a protest at a board meeting later this month and were considering a ballot if the plans go ahead.

UNISON regional secretary Clare Williams said: “This is a fantastic victory for us, and for the dedicated NHS staff who have been tangled up in the issue. We thank local Labour MPs for their support during this campaign.

“This decision will allow the trust to retain experienced workers. They now have the assurance that all parts of the service are valued equally, working as one team to provide the best possible care for patients.”

Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust porter Ivor Meek said: “When I heard the news I was over the moon. I’m absolutely made up with the decision.

“I was really worried about my pay and terms and conditions if I went over to the new company. “I’m so grateful for the support of UNISON who have been brilliant all the way through.”