The Health Secretary has called unions to a meeting ahead of the latest strike planned by NHS workers in their bitter row with the Government over pay.
Sources told the Press Association that officials from several unions had been invited to the talks on Tuesday with Jeremy Hunt.
The meeting comes just over a week before a planned walkout by NHS workers in England and Northern Ireland in protest at the coalition's refusal to accept a recommended 1% pay rise for all staff.
Members of Unison, Unite and the GMB in hospitals in England will walk out for 12 hours between 9am and 9pm on January 29th, followed by a work to rule until February 24th.
Christina McAnea, Unison's head of health, said: "We have been asking for a meeting with the secretary of state since the dispute began.
"We hope the meeting will give us an opportunity to have serious discussions on how to resolve pay and staffing issues."
The medical director of NHS England, Sir Bruce Keogh, will give evidence to MPs today about pressure on emergency services.
The hearing comes after one NHS trust admitted downgrading thousands of 999 calls without permission from senior management.
The East of England Ambulance Service released an internal report showing that 57 patients died after having their 999 calls downgraded leading ambulances to either arrive late at the scene or not turn up at all.
Yesterday, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham raised the case in the House of Commons, claiming that some of the downgraded calls were on behalf of terminally ill patients.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the East of England ambulance service has received £3.6 million of extra support this winter and defended the record of ambulance services nationwide.
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Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has said that today's five-year forecast for the NHS "endorses key planks of Labour's plan".
He said he agrees with the report's finding that primary care has been under-resourced and called on the government to stop cuts to the budget for GPs.
Mr Burnham also noted that the report "does not give one mention to competition" and says the Coalition should review its competition rules.
While the Health Secretary denied that the report endorses Labour's vision, he said there were large parts of it that Labour and the Conservatives "can agree on".
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called today's five-year plan for the NHS an "essentially positive and optimistic" vision of the future of the health service in England.
In his statement to the House of Commons, in response to an urgent question from Labour's Andy Burnham, he said the report calls for a "change in culture about the way we care for people" rather than structural change.
Jeremy Hunt will ask staff to recognise the cost of poor care as replacing equipment and compensation payouts add up.Read the full story ›
Britain's response to Ebola is "based on risk" and will assess anyone who has come back from west Africa in the last month, the health secretary told Good Morning Britain.
Jeremy Hunt said anyone returning from west Africa would be "tracked" on a twice daily basis to see if they developed any of the "flu-like" symptoms of Ebola.
If the government implemented the recommended pay rise for NHS staff at least 14,000 nurses would be laid off over the next two years, the health secretary said.
Jeremy Hunt told Good Morning Britain he would have "loved to have been more generous" but had been told in no uncertain terms a real terms pay rise would mean drastically reducing staff numbers.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that call handlers on the NHS 111 service will help to identify potential Ebola cases.
He said that "anyone reporting potential symptoms of Ebola" would be asked about their recent travel history.
If the person with symptoms has recently been to West Africa and is at high risk of having been in contact with Ebola, 111 will immediately refer them to local emergency services for assessment by ambulance personnel with appropriate protective equipment.
Ebola symptoms include respiratory problems, high temperatures, or diarrhoea and vomiting.
The Government has defended its efforts to help with the cost of dementia care, pointing to its policy of improving diagnosis rates, doubling research funding and capping the amount families have to pay.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
I want to make sure those with dementia, their families and carers get the help they need. It's precisely because people face such unfair care costs that we are transforming the way people pay for care, capping the amount they have to pay and providing more financial help.
To tackle this devastating condition, we are also doubling funding for research, pushing the NHS to improve diagnosis rates and post-diagnostic support, and focusing national attention on dementia like never before.