In 2000, The NHS plan: a plan for investment, a plan for reform proposed the creation of care trusts: organisations which would commission and hold responsibility for local authority health-related functions.
They were formally established by the Health and Social Care Act 2001 and were intended to promote greater integration between health and local authority services. The act provided for the designation of primary care trusts (PCTs) and NHS trusts as care trusts in cases where they had local authority health-related functions delegated to them by agreement. The act allowed care trusts to commission and/or provide integrated services covering health, social services and other health-related functions of a local authority.
With the abolition of PCTs in 2012, care trusts ceased to exist in their previous form. However, the Health and Social Care Act 2012 provided for foundation trusts and clinical commissioning groups (in addition to NHS trusts) to be designated as care trusts, allowing these organisations to continue without affecting their core functions, rights or responsibilities.