Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) are set to strike at hospitals across Suffolk and north Essex next month.

Ipswich Hospital, West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds and Colchester General Hospital will all be hit by a 48-hour strike starting at 6am on Wednesday, March 1.

RCN members at the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and the Royal Papworth in Cambridge will also walk out.

The college, which accused the government of refusing to engage in negotiations, also said it will increase financial support for its members who lose wages by taking industrial action.

For the first time, the RCN will involve nursing staff working in emergency departments, intensive care units, cancer care and other services that were previously exempted.

A strike last week saw the RCN agree 5,000 exemptions at local level through committees of NHS hospitals and RCN staff, but this process will be stopped for the March dates.

The RCN said it was continuing discussions with the NHS at national level as part of its commitment to “life and limb” care.