Five trusts in Durham are to be dissolved and three new ones formed from April, in a move set to save pounds1.3m.

North Durham Acute Hospitals trust, Community Health Care: North Durham trust, South Durham trust, Bishop Auckland Hospitals trust and Darlington Memorial Hospital trust will cease to exist.

Instead, South Durham Health Care trust, involving the merger of Bishop Auckland, Darlington Memorial and relevant community services from South Durham trust, will cater for the south of the county.

North Durham trust and relevant community services from Community Health Care will merge to form North Durham Health Care trust to provide services for the north.

In addition, Durham County Priority Services trust will provide mental health and learning disability services throughout the county.

Other mergers under consideration in Northern and Yorkshire region are: Royal Victoria Infirmary and Associated Hospitals trust with Freeman Group of Hospitals trust; Cheviot and Wansbeck trust with North Tyneside Health Care trust and Northumberland Community Health trust.