NHS staff in Slough and Ascot have named the dates for strike action - as they escalate their campaign to stop management plans to transfer them into a new subsidiary company.

The two day strike will happen at Slough's Wexham Park and Ascot's Heatherwood hospitals lasting from 7am Monday, November 18 to 7am Wednesday, November 20.

Both hospitals are part of the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust - and Frimley Park Hospital will also be affected by the action.

The trust bosses want to transfer 1,000 non-clinical staff, including cleaners, caterers, housekeepers and security staff into the new company. They insist it would be wholly owned by the NHS but staff see it as privatisation that could threaten their future security and quality of patient care.

This week the UNISON union assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The trust must now take staff concerns seriously and sit down with UNISON to ensure these workers remain directly employed by the NHS.

“Patients rely on good quality cleaning, catering and portering staff who play a vital role in providing excellent care.

“But these hard-working hospital employees are some of the lowest paid in the health service, feel targeted by their employer and don’t deserve to have their NHS employment status ripped away.

“They’ve demonstrated they’ll resist any attempts to privatise their jobs, and the ball is now firmly in the employer’s court to resolve this dispute.”

UNISON’s strike ballot closed with 99 per cent of members voting in favour of industrial action on a 72 per cent turnout. The Unite and GMB unions have announced strike action at the same time as UNISON.

The GMB members voted for strike action by 93.6 per cent with a 66.7 per cent turn out.

The Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust has released a statement saying that 'robust contingency plans' have been put in place to ensure the safety of the patients.