A HEALTH boss is 'disturbed' by the amount of staff leaving the healthcare trust.

The level of turnover of workers, including nurses, is a concern, Non-Executive Director Keith Gilchrist told a Bucks Healtchare NHS Trust meeting on Wednesday.

He said: "I'm disturbed by the increasing turnover of nursing staff. I'm really concerned that our skill base is turning over."

Speaking about salaries compared to other health trust areas such as London, he said: "The rate of pay may still be an issue."

The latest figures, discussed on Wednesday, showed this year to date turnover for the trust as a whole is 12.8 per cent, up from 12.1 per cent in May. In June there was a drop in 19 staff.

There were nine fewer nurses and ten fewer Allied Health Professionals.

The report said the majority of leavers were resignations with the most common reasons being ‘work-life balance’ and ‘lack of opportunity’.

The document stated: "We continue to focus on retention of nursing staff (qualified and unqualified).

"There has been a higher number of leavers than starters."

In April there were ten voluntary redundancies in the admin and clerical staff.

Mark Warner, Director of Human Resources, said there would be a raft of factors for the turnover figures and said officials are looking to see if there are particular reasons but it is hard to pin point.

Lynne Swiatczak, Chief Nurse and Director of Patient Care Standards, said organisations can not flourish without a change over in staff, which can help bring in new ideas and perspectives.

"We do require a turnover, it's not necessarily a bad thing," she said.

Chief Executive Anne Eden said the Better Healtchare in Bucks programme, which led to changes such as the emergency medical centre closing at Wycombe Hospital and the opening instead of the Minor Injuries and Illness Unit, had to be factored into these figures.

Meanwhile, staff absence through sickness is at the lowest level since August last year.

The May figure, the latest available, of 3.6 per cent is .02 per cent lower than the annual target.

The same report said: "We would expect to see a seasonal decrease at this time of year, but believe that these figures also reflect the ongoing work across the trust to manage sickness absence."