NHS staff do not want to work in Gloucestershire because of controversial proposals to increase working hours and reduce pay levels, according to activists.
A number of NHS trusts in the county are members of the South West Pay Consortium, labelled a 'pay cartel' by union members, which is looking at saving money by fixing pay at a regional level rather than nationally as is currently the case.
While there are no cast iron plans on the table, there are fears that the mere prospect of a regional pay deal is putting off nurses and doctors from coming to the county.
And more than that, existing employees may be starting to look elsewhere for jobs.
Lisa Crooks, a nurse who works in the area who is a Royal College of Nursing activist, said: "It is having an effect. We have posts that have been advertised externally where we have had no applicants because no one has any interest of working in an area that is a member of a consortium.
"Staff are going to great lengths to find out if organisations are part of a consortium and if they are then they are not applying for these jobs.
"As well as the expert staff who may be looking to come in to the county are not, the expert staff here already are now looking elsewhere to work. I know of staff who are looking for employment outside of Gloucestershire because they think 'why should we potentially do our job for less?'"
A spokesman for Unison said: "There is already some evidence that cartel trusts are starting to have difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff.
"While none of the trusts have made any firm proposals as yet we are aware of cases where members from outside the south west have applied, or considered applying, for jobs in the region but having heard about the potential cuts in terms and conditions, have declined offers or not applied at all."
A spokeswoman for the 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust, one of the members of the South West Pay Consortium, denied the claims.
She said: "We do not believe that there has been any downturn in the numbers of applicants for positions."