Nurses at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust will again be taking strike action after their recent two-day walk-out.

The trust includes the Grange Maternity Unit at Petersfield Community Hospital, Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth, and Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said strike action took place at Queen Alexandra Hospital on January, Wednesday 18, and January 19.

One nurse on the picket line said: “This was never going to be an easy decision, but we stand in solidarity. Amazing turnout.

“A massive thank you to the public, the claps were replaced with honking horns.

“Your support makes this slightly easier.

“This strike isn’t about money.

“This is about safe staffing levels to provide the best care for our patients, and ultimately saving our NHS.

“No staff recruitment means no NHS.”

As well as recruitment, the action is over pay and conditions; the nurses say they are underpaid and overworked as more leave and their unions accuse the government refusing to discuss a meaningful pay deal for this year.

The nurses have asked for a 19 per cent rise; in reply they been have offered an increase thought to be worth around 4.3 per cent, with neither side willing to budge at the moment.

So the dispute looks set to continue with nurses saying their next strike across England will go ahead on February 8 and 9.

The QA is once again set to be the focus of local strike action.