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More trusts in financial difficulties

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The number of NHS trusts referred to the health secretary over concerns about financial resilience has risen, according to a report by the Audit Commission.

The report, Auditing the accounts 2013/14: NHS bodies, referred 19 trusts responsible for managing community and hospital services to the health secretary. In contrast, six trusts were referred in the 2012/13 period. Twenty-four CCGs were also referred.

The report stated that while the majority of trusts have arrangements for securing value for money, auditors at 34 NHS trusts issued a warning about value for money, due to costs and funding pressures.

Marcine Waterman, controller of the audit, 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.'

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