Trade union Unite has branded NHS Employers' alleged proposal to freeze pay for NHS workers for a third year running "a disgrace".
It has been reported that last week's NHS Employers' submission to the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) has proposed for another year of pay freezes for NHS workers to ensure the quality of patient care doesn't suffer.
Unite has slammed the reports as a "blow to the morale of NHS staff".
"Reports that the organisation representing all the major health service employers is proposing a pay freeze for a third year is another blow to the living standards and morale of NHS staff," said Unite's Head of Health Rachael Maskell.
"It is NHS Employers that has already cut staff and downgraded healthcare professionals as it carries out the government's diktat to find £20bn of so-called efficiency savings.
"In essence, NHS staff have seen their pay packets cut drastically in the last two years in real terms, while household bills have soared.
"NHS bosses are wildly out of touch with their own staff. Managers have already instituted massive cuts to staffing levels which are currently adversely impacting on patient care.
"NHS staff are at breaking point."
The union said it will be "strongly opposing" the "blatant unfairness" of the proposed pay freeze and accused NHS Employers of appearing to try and launch a pre-emptive attack on the independent Pay Body Review (PBR) process.
A spokesperson from NHS Employers said: "NHS Employers, along with a number of other organisations, made its submission to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body on Friday 28 September. This contains our evidence on the challenges to the pay bill for doctors and dentists for the financial year 2013/14. Our evidence will be published by the DDRB alongside the evidence from other bodies."