The commissioning arms of the three primary care trusts in Birmingham are to consider merging as a result of the impending public spending freeze.

After a meeting with strategic health authority NHS West Midlands, the PCTs - Birmingham East and North, Heart of Birmingham and South Birmingham - have agreed to review current commissioning arrangements.

This review will focus on how we work together to make the NHS more efficient in the current economic climate

Among the options is “exploring the potential for merger among the three PCTs”.

Other options include creating a single management team and structure to support the three PCT boards or continuing with the current number but finding other ways of making efficiency savings.

A joint statement from the PCTs said: “This review will focus on how we work together to make the NHS more efficient in the current economic climate.

“Discussions with a range of stakeholders will result in an options appraisal being presented to the SHA for consideration by early January 2010.”

Last month NHS Hammersmith and Fulham chair Jeff Zitron proposed scrapping PCTs and giving their commissioning role to local authorities.