Norfolk and Suffolk health trusts look at merger plan

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A Suffolk mental health trust has agreed to start merger talks with its neighbouring authority.

The Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (SMHP) is looking at merging with the Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The SMHP's board agreed to halt its existing application for NHS Foundation Trust status and look at the merger plan instead.

The board looked at the potential benefits to the services.

Mark Halladay, chief executive of the Suffolk trust, said: "We think there could be significant clinical benefits, opportunities for staff and economies of scale by operating as a larger Trust.

"Each Trust has its own strengths that it could bring to the table, which would have a positive impact on the work that we do.

"Our board has agreed that we should explore this further."

A period of public consultation is due to start over the summer and autumn.

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