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NHS trustA UK provider of health services created under Section 5 of The National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990, at which time NHS Trusts were accountable to the UK Secretary of State. Later legislation created primary care trusts, acute hospital trusts (1999) and lastly, Unified Health Boards (2001), to which NHS Trusts are accountable (trusts retain their operational responsibility for acute and primary care services).
NHS Trusts are public sector bodies which provide services on behalf of the NHS in England and NHS Wales, based on the requirements of patients as represented by Health Authorities (now by strategic health authorities) and GPs. Trusts may comprise one or several hospitals, plus various peripheral sites not necessarily owned by the Trust, where clinics may be held and community health services, mental health services and ambulance services are provided, which are managed by their own boards of directors.