Doctors and nurses have weighed into the fight against proposals for a regional NHS pay cartel in a move which could see health trusts battling their staff in court.
The British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing have both voiced fierce opposition to the creation of the South West Pay Consortium, which 20 organisations, including hospitals in Truro, Plymouth and Exeter have joined.
The group says it is investigating ways to meet future financial challenges and, in a discussion paper, has suggested cutting pay and reducing holiday entitlement.
The BMA's NHS staff-side union chairman Christina McAnea said they did not recognise the SWC pay cartel.
She said it "has no status, or authority to enter into negotiations, and the trades unions will not be engaging with any proposals made by it to cut pay, terms and conditions of our members."
Sue Matthews, regional officer for the RCN in Cornwall, said they were considering a legal challenge, to fight the proposals.
A spokesman for the SWC said: "Staff engagement is essential as this promotes understanding and knowledge and improves the quality of any decisions made. We therefore also welcome scrutiny and challenge, as part of this commitment to working transparently, to support the development of a robust business case, which each member trust board will consider."