Sheffield's two acute trusts have announced merger plans. Central Sheffield University Hospitals trust and Northern General Hospital trust will forward a joint recommendation for merger from 1 April to health secretary Alan Milburn. A joint statement said this was the 'natural way forward' for the two trusts and would allow 'more effective care for patients and better use of NHS resources'.

Sheffield health authority has described the move as 'far sighted'.

The city's community health council said it was 'courageous'.