A union has launched High Court action on behalf of nurses to recoup more than 1m in back pay. Unison claims that 63 nurses were denied a right of appeal on their regrading when they were employed 10 years ago by the former North Derbyshire district health authority.

Bob Quick, Unison's head of health for the East Midlands, said the nurses had lodged appeals that did not go ahead. Going to court is the 'last option', the union says. It still hopes to settle out of court.

It is estimated that the nurses could receive more than 20,000 each if the legal bid is successful.

The nurses' contracts were later transferred to North Derbyshire Community Health Care Service trust. Its chief executive said he could not comment until a writ was received.