NURSES from a hospital ward which closed on Friday are reporting for work this morning without jobs to go to.

The 11-strong team from ward nine at Bishop Auckland General Hospital have been told they cannot be allocated new posts because they have lodged a grievance procedure against management.

A grievance meeting is scheduled for Thursday.

One nurse said: "They have asked for two volunteers to work on a day ward but they haven't said where the rest will go.

"We all want to stay at Bishop Auckland because we live in the area so we are all applying for jobs in competition with each other.

"It isn't so much the closure of the ward we are bothered about, it is the way we have been treated.

"When ward three closed staff were redeployed at Bishop Auckland so we are saying the same should happen to us, but it doesn't look as though it will.

"I think the situation is going to get worse. They have to reduce surgical beds at Darlington by October so there will be more nurses looking for wards."

The County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust says it needs fewer beds because patients need to spend less time in hospital.

A spokesman said: "We are working through issues with staff."

The closure of ward nine means a net loss of nine beds. Six of its 15 beds were transferred to an orthopaedic ward.