Protesters have marched on a hospital to show solidarity with nurses striking over pay and working conditions.

Members of trade unions descended on Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital in order to help raise awareness of nursing strikes which are currently taking place.

The crowd marched from the Royal Mail sorting office in North Road to the hospital and stopped traffic before showing their support outside the building in Eastern Road.

Claire Jones, an NHS health visitor, said: “I’m really proud to be here on behalf of nurses.

"I have been in the NHS for nearly 40 years and it's really being pushed to its limits.

“More and more staff are leaving the NHS, it’s heartbreaking. This dispute is about pay but it’s also about patient safety.

“It’s really about the soul of the NHS.”

The march on Thursday, December 15, consisted of a number of different unions showing solidarity with striking nurses.

Among those protesting were postal workers striking with the CWU as well as members of climate activist group Extinction Rebellion.

The Argus: Claire Jones, 61, at the marchClaire Jones, 61, at the march (Image: Newsquest)

According to NHS Sussex, no trusts in the region will be taking part in the strike action co-ordinated by the Royal College of Nursing.

One woman who teaches student nurses said: “It’s not about pay, our students want to support their clinical colleagues.

“We are sending our students out into practices while trying to plan in these conditions.”

The woman, who wished not to be named, said that she thought the NHS was in the worst condition it had been in since she had been involved in the NHS.

The Royal College of Nursing balloted nurses for strike action after trying to secure a pay rise of five per cent above inflation.

Nurses say that in recent years their pay has seen a relative pay cut of around 20 per cent.

This is the first time that the RCN has come out on strike in its 106-year history.

A spokeswoman for NHS Sussex said: “Whilst all of the NHS Trusts in Sussex met the legal threshold for mandated action, the RCN confirmed last month the organisations where industrial action will take place. No NHS Trust in Sussex was on the confirmed list.

“The NHS in Sussex is reassuring patients and the public that this means that normal health services will be available on both days.

“NHS services are currently experiencing high levels of need, and so people are encouraged to use health care appropriately – contact the most appropriate service for your needs, make sure you attend booked appointments or let the service know if you can no longer attend, and respect health and care staff who are working to help you at this time.”

The strike by nurses comes amid a number of strikes in recent months which has affected several services.

Rail workers, postal workers and ambulance staff have all balloted in favour of strike action as the cost of living crisis continues to affect people.