Health Secretary Alan Johnson has agreed to reopen discussions on pay for healthcare staff, after the health union Unison called for talks last week.
Although Welsh healthcare staff have been given their 2.5% pay award in full, staff in England and Northern Ireland are still to receive a staged increase, split between April and November.
Unison have labelled the 2.5% pay award itself as "miserly".
Unison National Officer for Health Mike Jackson said: "We very much welcome these last ditch talks to avert industrial action.
"Living costs have risen far faster than the paltry pay offer on the table and our health workers are underpaid as it is.
"They simply cannot afford to accept the offer on the table as it stands."
Talks with Mr Johnson are due to begin early next week, in the meantime Unison has scheduled its members to take part in a ballot for industrial action in September 2007.