Proposals to put health services in the hands of a private company have been met with fierce union resistance.

The plans have been made by council and health bosses to seek a private firm to supply nursing equipment to care in the community residents.

The GMB union has criticised the newly-published proposals to be discussed tomorrow, claiming that a report prepared for councillors was biased in favour of a private solution.

But Conservative councillors have hit back, claiming that union officials have opposed every proposal to improve and modernise services.

The integrated community equipment service provides equipment to vulnerable city residents and is currently run by Sussex Community Trust in Shoreham Harbour, employing 15 council and trust staff.

The trust has given notice on its contract, which will end in September 2015.

The service costs Brighton and Hove City Council and health budgets £1.45m annually and has overspent for the past three years.

West Sussex County Council is currently working towards a new contract with an external provider and council and NHS managers in Brighton believe joining with West Sussex is the “best way” to deliver the technical advances, savings and economies of scale needed.

The Brighton and Hove City Council and NHS Brighton and Hove’s Clinical Commissioning Group report rules out bringing the service in-house as a viable option because of the investment needed to update the trust’s current building.

But this has angered unions who claim they were initially presented with four options, with only two remaining, both for private providers.

GMB Organiser Gary Palmer said: “The report is disgracefully biased in an attempt to manipulate and scare Health and Wellbeing Board members into recommending privatisation of the service.

“The joint unions will do everything we can to robustly defend the current in- house service by all means at our disposal.”

Councillor Ken Norman, Conservative spokesman for adult care and health, said: “I simply cannot understand why trade union officials are intent on trying to block every proposal for modernising and improving council services that are put forward by our professional officers.

“The current facility for providing the community equipment service is poor. I’m certain the proposal to team up with West Sussex will provide a better service.”

Labour group leader Warren Morgan said: “We have concerns over the proposals as they currently stand and will be challenging some recommendations.”

A joint statement, on behalf of Brighton and Hove City Council and Brighton and Hove CCG, said: “We are acutely aware of the concerns staff and their unions have expressed about the proposed change, and are committed to working constructively with them and with SFT should changes be agreed.”

Union members will protest against changes to social care provisions outside a town hall meeting.

GMB and Unison leaders are calling on members and campaigners to join them to demonstrate outside Hove Town Hall from 3.15pm tomorrow as councillors discuss the plans to find a new provider for equipment for residents receiving care in their own homes.