The Competition and Markets Authority has cleared the planned merger of two acute trusts in Liverpool after the first stage of its approval process. 

Aintree University Hospital Foundation Trust and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust plan to complete the deal in October.

The CMA has not yet released its full decision document, but confirmed the merger had been cleared after the first phase of its investigation. The inquiry was launched just two months ago.

The trusts have already appointed a chair and chief executive to a joint shadow board for the new provider to be named Liverpool University Hospitals FT.

The transaction was expected to receive clearance after the CMA changed its approach to the NHS. 

When approving the merger of two large acute trusts in Manchester, which went to a second stage, the CMA recognised that financial pressures on the NHS have “dampened the role of competition”.

The regulator had previously blocked the merger of Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals FT and Poole FT, which the trusts are still hoping to complete.