MID Essex Hospital Services, which counts Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford as its main site, is one of a number of NHS Trusts that have been referred to the health secretary over financial concerns.

A report revealed today shows that 19 trusts were flagged up to Jeremy Hunt this financial year, compared to five last year.

Twenty Four Clinical Commissioning Groups were also flagged, according to the Audit Commission.

The Mid Essex Trust employs over 3,800 staff and provides services from five sites in and around Chelmsford, Maldon and Braintree.

Marcine Waterman, Controller of Audit, said auditors were reporting concerns about the financial resilience of a third of trusts this year, compared with a quarter for the previous 12-month period.

She said: "This level of reporting is worrying and reflects the increasing risks to the financial sustainability of individual NHS trusts as they continue to face sizeable financial pressures due to a rising demand for services and the necessary focus on quality of care, whilst balancing the need for continued cost savings."

Among others referred to Mr Hunt for failing to meet their statutory break-even duty, were the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals and Ipswich Hospital NHS Trusts.

North West London Hospitals and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trusts were also on the list.

The report - entitled Auditing the Accounts 2013/14: NHS Bodies - covers the timeliness and quality of accounts, arrangements to secure value for money and auditors' use of their statutory reporting powers at 101 NHS trusts and 211 CCGs.

It found timeliness and quality of trusts' financial reporting had improved and that the majority of NHS bodies put in place proper arrangements for securing value for money.

But it also revealed that auditors at 34 percent of NHS trusts issued a non-standard value for money conclusion relating to concerns about financial resilience, compared to 26 percent last year.