NHS unions have received a new pay offer and an announcement is expected this afternoon, Sky News understands.

It follows reports of progress in talks involving unions representing nurses and ambulance staff.

The development comes after the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) last month agreed to suspend industrial action while it entered into “intensive” negotiations with ministers, to be followed by other health unions.

Both Unison and the GMB followed the RCN by halting strike action by ambulance workers this month, with the unions saying they had been assured there was additional investment available for pay rises this year and next year, outside the current budgets.

Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Social Care told the NHS pay review body, which recommends how much all health workers should be paid, a maximum pay rise of 3.5% for 2023-2024 would be affordable.

The government has also recommended a 3.5% pay rise for the police, teachers and judges.

The RCN was originally calling for an above-inflation pay rise of 19.2% as nurses said they have had a real-terms pay cut of 20% since 2010, but its leader Pat Cullen said she was willing to meet the government “halfway” at around 10%.

Tens of thousands of nurses from the RCN went on strike for the first time in their more than 100-year history just before Christmas, then again in January and February.

The move in England to suspend walkouts followed a similar postponement in Wales.

In Scotland, teachers have been awarded a pay offer which amounts to a 14.6% uplift over 28 months, with the Scottish government calling it the “largest pay package in over 20 years“.