Nurses across the UK have voted to strike in a dispute against pay.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), which represents close to half a million nurses, announced the action in its first UK-wide strike action in its 106-year history.

The union represents close to half a million nurses, with nurses voting to strike in the majority of NHS employers.

According to Sky News, the union said that many of the biggest hospitals in England would see strike action while others "narrowly missed" the legal turnout thresholds required for action.

All NHS employers in Northern Ireland and Scotland would be included and all bar one in Wales met the threshold, the union confirmed.

Health workers in other unions, including ambulance staff, hospital porters and cleaners, are also voting on industrial action over pay.

Nurses vote for strike action

An RCN spokesperson said: “Cutting nurses’ wages by 20% since 2010 is the opposite of providing ‘considerable support’ for nurses and the Cabinet Office Minister shouldn’t insult our members by pretending it is.

“The minister appears in denial about both the anger of nursing staff and the public support we have.”

Health Secretary Steve Barclay has described nurses voting to strike as “disappointing”.

In a tweet he wrote: "It is disappointing some RCN members voted for industrial action.

"We accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body in full and have given over one million NHS workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year on top of a 3% rise last year.

"I’m hugely grateful for the hard work and dedication of NHS staff, including nurses.

"That’s why supporting the NHS and social care workforce to care for patients is one of my priorities, and we have already recruited 30,000 of the 50,000 more nurses we promised by 2024.

"But union demands for a 17.6% pay settlement are around three times what millions of people outside the public sector will typically receive and simply aren’t reasonable or affordable. Labour have also refused to back this.

"Regrettably, this action will mean some patients will have their treatment delayed.

"My priority is to keep patients safe during any strikes, minimise disruption and ensure emergency services continue to operate."