Two days of strike action have been called by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on December 15 and 20.

Nationwide up to 100,000 nurses are expected to walkout and services for people in the South Hams will be hit.

Locally the South West Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, the South West University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, the South West Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the South West NHS Devon ICB (One Devon) will be affected.

The nurses voted for industrial action in a ballot and the RCN warned that the level of action and the number of nurses and nursing staff taking part would increase in January unless there were negotiations.

The nurses are looking for an up to 19 per cent pay increase along with an improvement in patient safety.

RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen said:

“Ministers have declined my offer of formal pay negotiations and instead chosen strike action.

“It has left us with no choice but to announce where our members will be going on strike in December.

“Nursing is standing up for the profession and their patients. We’ve had enough of being taken for granted and being unable to provide the care patients deserve.

“Ministers still have the power and the means to stop this by opening negotiations that address our dispute.”