STRUCTURE: Two mental health trusts in East Anglia merged at the beginning of the month to form Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust.

The new trust, which covers 1.5m people, is the result of a merger between Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Foundation Trust and Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust.

The merger was criticised by the NHS Cooperation and Competition Panel but was approved by Monitor as being in patients’ interests.

Chief executive Aidan Thomas - who ran the Norfolk trust but had also been acting as interim chief executive at Suffolk - said: ‘The merger of our two trusts gives us real opportunities to develop new services which we would not have been able to do if we had remained as two trusts.

‘Both counties have examples of excellent service, which we can extend to the other.’