Just before taking office, David Cameron pledged to protect frontline services from the impact of public spending cuts. He said, when interviewed on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, that any cabinet minister “who comes to me and says, ‘Here are my plans’ and they involve frontline reductions, they’ll be sent straight back to their department to go away and think again”.

Join UNISON online today Agenda for Change - the NHS staff council working in partnership Equality in UNISON, find our more