The NHS Somerset Foundation Trust, which runs Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, is set to be hit by strike action in March.

The Royal College of Nursing have announced fresh strike dates as part of an ongoing pay dispute. The walkout is set to last 48 hours from the morning of Wednesday March 1 to the morning of Friday March 3.

In a statement the RCN described the planned action as 'the biggest yet' and pledged to boost strike pay for their members. The RCN said: "To support members to take part in our biggest strike yet, we’re increasing the strike benefit payments that members can claim.

"Members will now be able to claim £80 a day for strike action taken from March. This will rise to £120 a day for members who have taken strike action for four or more days."

The Nurse's union has also said there will be no wide-ranging agreements to cover staffing levels on strike days and affected services will be reduced to "an absolute minimum".

General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen said: "These strikes will not just run for longer and involve more people but will leave no area of the NHS unaffected. Patients and nurses alike did not want this to happen.

“By refusing to negotiate with nurses, the Prime Minister is pushing even more people into the strike. He must listen to NHS leaders and not let this go ahead."

The strikes come after a wave of industrial action launched to settle disputes over pay and conditions, as wages in many sectors are lagging against inflation.

The NHS Somerset Foundation Trust has issued advice to patients ahead of the planned strikes.

A spokesman for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust said: “From 1 – 3 March 2023 the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is taking strike action at a number of NHS trusts, including Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. The industrial action is a national dispute between the Government and Trades Unions about terms and conditions.

 “Our advice to patients is if you have an appointment on these days, please attend as planned. Please don’t call to check if your appointment is going ahead – if your appointment is affected by industrial action, we will contact you directly.”