The lost city of Atlantis may be gone forever, but former NHS regions are made of more indestructible fibre. They may lie buried under the silt of successive structural reforms, but sooner or later their ancient contours are doomed to become visible once more.
Administrative archaeologists may care to delicately sift the dust from the shape of the proposed 28 new strategic health authorities. Lo and behold, some familiar faces begin to appear. One looks startlingly like the old Mersey region, another bears a striking resemblance to what was once the territory covered by East Anglian regional HA. Peer closely at London, and surely you can detect the outline of the four former Thames regions, albeit shorn of their Home Counties decorative extremities.
Freakish accidents of history, or indicative of more that lies beneath? Keep digging.