"Ambulance trust to send occupied vehicles to new emergency calls." (The guardian)

What's the meaning of the word "trust" in this context?

The definitions in Cambridge dictionary as well as in Oxford dictionary aren't understandable to me in this context and I'm not sure which of the definitions if the correct one.


It's a recent extension of the meaning "an organization that controls property and/or money for another person". In the UK, the organisation that controls a portion of the NHS (National Health Service), such as a group of hospitals, or an ambulance service, is referred to as an NHS Trust

So "ambulance trust" would mean "organisation within the NHS that runs an ambulance service".

Edit: I at first referred to NHS trusts as charitable trusts, but alephzero corrected me in a comment.

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    It is a noun. The example is not a proper sentence, it is more of a fragment. Here is an equivalent: John to send letter to neighbour – MotherBrain Sep 17 '18 at 10:32
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    This kind of contraction is common in newspaper headlines. We're supposed to read something like "[An] ambulance trust [plans] to send occupied vehicles ..." There's very often ambiguity that you have to decode (or, if the ambiguity is amusing enough, send to be read out on a topical radio comedy show...) – Toby Speight Sep 17 '18 at 12:26
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    @TobySpeight I'd say that the omitted verb is "is"; headlines typically omit both articles and all instances of the verb "to be". I'd say the proper expansion into a sentence here is "An ambulance trust is to send occupied vehicles ...". – Mark Amery Sep 17 '18 at 14:22
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    @Conceivableassessment And to be explicit, "Ambulance Trust" (see half -way down this NHS page) is a two-word noun phrase -- the body that controls the ambulances. – TripeHound Sep 17 '18 at 15:12
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    There are charities which provide ambulance services in the UK (for example the St John's Ambulance service, and almost all the Air Ambulances are operated by charities) but "National Health Service Trusts" are legally distinct from "Charitable Trusts," even though the purposes of the two types of legal entity have much in common. NHS trusts are set up under the specific provisions of the National Health Services Act 2006. Charitable Trusts in general are regulated by the Charity Commission and the High Court. – alephzero Sep 17 '18 at 20:43

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