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NHS Trustan organization running health-care provision in the UK's National Health Service (NHS) at ‘arms-length' from the other parts of the health service. NHS Trusts manage publicly-owned facilities such as hospitals and are accountable to central government in respect of their financial management but have operational autonomy in certain respects e.g. setting the pay and conditions of some employees. It is argued that hospital managers have greater freedom to manage than under the previous system of health service administration, and that this will lead to more effective and efficient use of resources. Controversy has surrounded the creation of NHS Trusts because local political influence on health-care delivery has been reduced, with critics arguing that the self-governing nature of some Trust functions is a form of privatization. Supporters argue that, besides the advantages listed above, consumer influences on health-care policy are more appropriately filtered through the health authorities and GP FUNDHOLDERS which purchase health services on their behalf from the Trusts (see PURCHASER-PROVIDER SPLIT). See NEW PUBLIC MANAGEMENT.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson