Junior doctors are set for a four-day walkout from Musgrove Park Hospital as part of a national dispute over pay and conditions.

The doctor's union, the British Medical Association, says that junior doctors have suffered a 27 per cent erosion to real-terms pay over the past 15 years.

From 7am on Tuesday, junior doctors will stop work and not return until until the morning of Saturday, April 15. Junior doctors will be joined by some consultants and dental trainees in the 96-hour strike.

Responding to the strikes, the NHS Somerset Foundation Trust, which runs Musgrove Hospital in Taunton, said: "We are committed to maintaining patient care as much as possible and providing the most essential services on these days, however some planned procedures and appointments may be postponed to ensure that we can provide safe emergency and inpatient care during this time."

The Trust advised patients to attend scheduled appointments as usual, unless they are contacted and told otherwise by the hospital, and stressed that patients in need of urgent medical care should come forward as usual:

"Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases - when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk."

A new advertising campaign by the BMA claims that three junior doctors would earn just £66.55 between them for removing a patient's appendix. Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, BMA junior doctors committee co-chairs, said:

“It is appalling that this Government feels that paying three junior doctors as little as £66.55 between them for work of this value, is justified. This is highly skilled work requiring years of study and intensive training in a high-pressure environment where the job can be a matter of life and death.

“Why then has the Government allowed junior doctor pay to be cut in real terms by over a quarter in the last 15 years? Why do Ministers not understand that only by valuing and retaining NHS staff will the NHS be able to deliver the high quality healthcare it once could?

“Full pay restoration is not a high price to pay for healthcare that junior doctors deliver. It would see these same 3 doctors only being paid around £90 between them, still extremely good value for a surgical emergency. That is why this week they are striking to be paid what they are worth. As we have made clear in our latest offer to begin talks – we are always ready to talk and Mr. Barclay can stop the strikes at any time if he proposes a credible offer.”

The BMA are campaigning for a 35% increase in junior doctor's wages, a demand which the Health Minister, Steve Barclay has called 'unrealistic.'

In an article for the Daily Telegraph, Mr Barclay said that the BMA's demands were: "out of step with pay settlements in other parts of the public sector" and criticised the strikes which he said were planned to "cause maximum disruption".