Nurses at Whipps Cross Hospital are to hold a protest next week following a dispute with the government over pay. 

Members of the the Royal College of Nursing across London will stage a demonstration outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel on Thursday.

The walk out comes after the government overturned the recommendation by the Independent Pay Review Body (PRB) to give all NHS staff a one per cent pay rise. 

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has defended the decision.

He said: "The reality that is if we give hospitals pay bills that they can't meet they'll only have one alternative, and that's to lay off nurses.

"The numbers show that potentially 6,000 nurses would be laid off if we accepted the pay review body's recommendations, and that's not a risk I'm prepared to take for patients."

Nurses will be joined by members of all health trade unions from 10am to 2pm. 

RCN London regional director Bernell Bussue, said: "Nursing staff in London are rightly angry that the government have chosen to under-value their work again this year.

"Many NHS staff will end up facing a four-year pay freeze, at a time when the cost of living has continued to spiral upwards.

"This protest is not aimed at any individual employers - the government's continual holding down of NHS pay is damaging morale and contributing to recruitment difficulties.

"Nurses are working longer hours with less support for less reward. The result of this endless stretching of resources will be to put at risk the safe, high quality care which patients in London expect."