TWO-THIRDS of the regions health authorities will disappear in April after details of the latest NHS shake-up were confirmed.

Three large Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) will replace familiar health authorities (HAs) from Berwick to Scarborough.

The slimmed-down authorities are in line with proposals to shift more power towards the new primary care trusts and hospital trusts.

While the changes will not take legal effect until October, after legislation goes through Parliament, the new authorities will effectively take over in April.

A single health authority - County Durham and Tees Valley SHA - will cover the areas run by County Durham and Darlington HA and Tees HA.

Similarly, a new authority, called Northumberland, Tyne and Wear SHA, will take over from Northumberland HA, Newcastle and North Tyneside HA, and Gateshead and South Tyneside HA.

Further south, the new North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire SHA will take over from North Yorkshire HA, East Yorkshire HA, East Riding and Hull HA, and South Humber HA.

Yesterday, the NHS Appointments Commission announced who will run the new merged authorities.

Tony Waites, 58, will chair County Durham and Tees SHA. Mr Waites lives in Darlington and is chairman of Tees Health Authority and a previous chairman of Darlington Memorial Hospital NHS Trust.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear SHA chairman is Peter Carr, 71, from Northumberland. He is chairman of Newcastle and North Tyneside Health Authority.

North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire Health Authority is to be chaired by Professor David Johns. Prof Johns, 70, lives in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. He retired from his post as vice-chancellor and principal at Bradford University in 1998.