Trusts were established in 1991 in the UK National Health Service (NHS). NHS trusts are established under statute as corporate bodies with legal personalities. Statutes and regulations prescribe the structure, functions and responsibilities of the boards of these bodies and prescribe the way chairs and members of boards are appointed. The function of trusts is to provide hospital and community services on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health. A trust is managed by a board of directors made up of executive directors and non-executive directors. The non-executive directors are part-time and are paid an honorarium. Foundation trusts are a new (2004) type of NHS hospital having a greater degree of autonomy than conventional trusts. NHS foundation trusts have the freedom to decide at a local level how to meet their obligations, and have constitutions that make them accountable to local peo-
pie, who can become members, directors and governors, and are authorized, monitored and regulated by an Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts.
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