Nurses from Royal Berkshire Hospital are on strike as part of the first national walkout in history. 

A picket line began forming on Craven Road in Reading this morning at around 7am as staff braved -6 temperatures to take a stand.

The action, a bid to secure above-inflation pay rises, is going ahead after talks with the government and the nurses' union ended in a deadlock.

Picket lines are being set up at dozens of hospitals and thousands of NHS appointments and operations have been cancelled, with the health service running a bank holiday-style service in many areas.

A spokesman for Royal Berks Hospitals told BBC Berkshire the strike should only impact a small number of patients. 

He said: “Wherever there is an emergency, urgent care is being provided. We are able to staff those with full numbers. There will be a small number of planned procedures that we will almost certainly need to postpone. The numbers are small, we are not expecting the need to expand that number.”