Two hospitals in the East of England are considering merging into one trust.
The NHS trust boards of Colchester Hospital and Ipswich Hospital will hold a public meeting outlining plans.
In a joint statement, the trusts said if the merger did not happen they would "struggle to maintain the range of patient services they currently provide".
The move comes after a review by staff, patients, clinical experts and health and local authority partners.
David White, chairman of both trusts, said: "By thinking differently and working together we can change the way we deliver care and provide excellent services that are vital for the future of the communities we serve.
"Many patients, staff and supporters have helped us to get to this stage in our partnership and I am immensely grateful for their time and effort."
A final decision will be taken by both boards around June 2018.