Thousands of nurses in England are to take part in a 48-hour strike amid a long-running dispute over pay, patient safety and working condition.

The news was announced by the Royal College of Nurses (RCN) which said that no services would be exempt.

This means the strikes, for the first time ever, will involve nursing staff in emergency departments as well as intensive care and other services.

The RCN union accused the government of refusing to engage with workers in negotiations adding that the strike will run continuously for 48 hours.

RCN say strikes caused by government 'refusing to negotiate with nurses'

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said: "It is with a heavy heart that I have today asked even more nursing staff to join this dispute.

"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.

"I will do whatever I can to ensure patient safety is protected.

"At first, we asked thousands to keep working during the strikes but it is clear that is only prolonging the dispute.

"This action must not be in vain - the prime minister owes them an answer."

When will the 48 hour strike by the nurses take place?

The RCN has said the strike will run for 48 hours from 6 am on March 1, 2023.

This comes after a series of 12-hour strikes in December of last year represented an increase in activity.