STRUCTURE: The delayed takeover of Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust has been signed off by Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health FT’s board.

The move came at a board meeting following Monitor’s decision in October to allow the merger.

Despite a critical report from the NHS Cooperation and Competition Panel earlier this year, the foundation trust regulator said the takeover could go ahead, but imposed some conditions on the deal. These will mean extra transparency demands on the merged provider and regular retendering of underperforming services.

At a board meeting of the foundation trust’s board on Monday, Monitor’s financial and governance risk ratings for the new trust were accepted.

Norfolk Chief executive Aidan Thomas, who will be in charge of the merged trust, said: “I am extremely pleased to announce that this merger will take place.” 

“This was a major milestone for the trusts, which have been working collaboratively to bring the project to fruition for more than 18 months. We are confident that the merger will bring together the best elements of both organisations for the benefit of the Norfolk, Suffolk communities,” he said.

“We are still in discussions with Monitor regarding remedies, but are pleased with progress to date. From here we will write to the Department of Health and the Secretary of State for official sign-off. This process will dictate the day on which we formally merge,” he added.