NORTH East health care boards will come together to help steer services through reforms.
The region has 12 primary care trust (PCT) boards, but they will be consolidated into four.
The new boards, which will include one for NHS North of Tyne, will co-ordinate work across the region as GP commissioning is developed, ensure ongoing engagement with stakeholders and avoid duplication of work.
Former nurse Gina Tiller will chair NHS North of Tyne, which covers Northumberland Care Trust and North Tyneside and Newcastle PCTs.
She said: “I am very pleased to have been asked to take on this role during a period of major change for the NHS as we move towards the transfer of many of the responsibilities of primary care trusts to GP consortia. It will be more important than ever to have strong relationships across all partner organisations to make sure that local people continue to receive the high quality care they deserve and also that we look for opportunities to improve care wherever possible.”