Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the government is prepared to talk to the striking NHS unions about the current pay rise dispute.
He said: "We will talk to them if they're prepared to look to reform the system of increments, which is unclear and unfair.
"I recognise frontline staff do a magnificent job in the NHS."
A poll for the union Unite shows the public supports health workers in their campaign for an above-inflation pay rise.
A survey of more than 1,000 people showed that almost two thirds thought a continued below-inflation one per cent pay cap was unfair.
Three out of five of those questioned said they believed industrial action being taken by NHS workers was justified.
According to Frances O'Grady, of the Trades Union Congress, this is the first time there has been a national strike over pay in the NHS since 1982.
Midwives have gone on strike today for the first time ever.
They are among half a million NHS workers in the country to walk out over pay.
Unions say 60 per cent of staff will not get a pay rise this year despite increased pressures:
A specialist unit in South Yorkshire is gearing up to deal with a potential outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the UK.
The government's emergency committee Cobra met today to discuss readiness after a Spanish nurse because the first person to contract the disease outside Africa.
A unit at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield is one of a few in the country which could take patients with Ebola, if the need arises. Frazer Maude reports;
It has been revealed that plans issued last month have put several hospitals, including some in Sheffield, on stand-by for an outbreak of ebola in the UK.
Health officials revealed yesterday that there are no plans to screen travellers entering the UK for the virus, as more than 100 Army medics prepare to travel to Sierra Leone to help tackle the epidemic, which has led to social unrest.
Last month, nurse William Pooley was successfully treated in an isolation unit at London's Royal Free Hospital after contracting Ebola while working in Sierra Leone.
Guidance issued to hospitals by NHS England last month shows that the Royal Free would treat anyone infected in a UK outbreak, with plans in place to transfer patients to hospitals in Newcastle, Sheffield and Liverpool if numbers increase.
The Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield has been chosen to treat patients.
Last night Mr Cameron spoke to the president of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma, who said the situation in his country continues to be "very serious".
Downing Street said the Prime Minister assured him the UK will continue to do everything it can to support his administration's efforts to battle the disease.
Britain has already provided aid totalling £125 million.
Officials stressed that the meeting in Whitehall was one of a regular series of meetings and had been in the PM's diary for some time.
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Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust's Board are to review the Trust's performance and look at challenges facing local services.
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