Colchester and Ipswich hospitals have published plans to merge into one hospital trust.
The two sites already share the same chief executive, Nick Hulme, with doctors and consultants also working between them both.
A final decision won't be made until next year.
Mr Hulme says there are numerous benefits to the merger.
I think coming together we can provide some equity and shorten the waiting times for people, deliver better services and address the workforce challenges, as well as the financial challenge which the whole of the NHS faces."