The union claims that the day after the white paper was published, NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson wrote to all NHS chief executives instructing them to start implementing the proposals "immediately".
Unison then says it wrote to Sir David telling him the order was illegal, because it failed to properly consult the public, as required under the NHS partnership agreement, the NHS Constitution and section 242 of the NHS Act.Karen Jennings, Unison head of health explains:
"The NHS Constitution enshrines the principle that the public, staff and unions have an absolute right to be consulted," she wrote.
"And that means not only on how the proposals are to be implemented, but also whether they should go ahead in the first place.
"The Department for Health's refusal to recognise this clear and important legal duty leaves us no option but to issue legal proceedings as a matter of urgency."This government has no electoral mandate, and encouraged by the fact that they can govern without a mandate they are completely ignoring our democratic rights and parliamentary procedure.