Nurses will hold two days of strike action next month after the government turned down an offer of talks.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) announced its members will stage their first-ever national walkout on December 15 and 20.

The RCN said it was calling strikes after the UK Government turned down its offer of formal, detailed negotiations as an alternative to industrial action.

It is not yet clear which services in Suffolk will be affected.

Nick Hulme, chief executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, said: "We will be planning for all eventualities to keep our patients safe – that is our top priority.

“We value all our staff and understand the importance of good pay and conditions for individuals and their families, as well as for wider NHS staff retention and recruitment.

“While pay is a matter for Government and the trade unions, we want to see a resolution as soon as possible to make sure we can continue to focus on delivering high-quality and compassionate patient care to anyone in our communities who needs it.”