Nurses in England are to stage fresh strikes after rejecting the Government’s pay offer – while in Scotland NHS strikes were averted in March.

This is because unions representing midwives and nurses voted to accept the Scottish Government’s pay offer.

However, Junior doctors in Scotland are currently voting on strike action amid a pay dispute with the Scottish Government.

The strike action ballet will run for just over five weeks, and close on 5 May.

Members will decide whether or not to stage a 72-hour walkout.

READ MORE: Why junior doctors aren't on strike in Scotland this week

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) announced that its members in England will walk out for 48 hours from 8pm on April 30, without any derogations – which means nursing staff working in emergency departments, intensive care units and cancer care will be taking industrial action for the first time.

The escalation down south follows a 54% vote to reject an offer of a 5% pay rise this year and a cash payment for last year.

The RCN's move on Friday followed an earlier announcement by Unison that its NHS members had accepted the same offer by 74%.

Unison’s head of health, Sarah Gorton, said the vote did not solve the “staffing emergency” in the NHS.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen has written to Health Secretary Steve Barclay to seek urgent re-opening of talks with the Government.

She said: “What has been offered to date is simply not enough. The Government needs to increase what has already been offered and we will be highly critical of any move to reduce it.

“The crisis in our health and care services cannot be addressed without significant action that addresses urgent recruitment and retention issues and nursing pay to bring this dispute to a close urgently.

“Until there is a significantly improved offer, we are forced back to the picket line.”

The ballot results were announced as junior doctors in England staged the final full day of a 96-hour strike in a separate row over pay.