The six regional outposts will essentially monitor the financial effectiveness of NHS trusts and report back to the management executive. The role of the regions will remain as it is—that of central authorities seeing through the priorities established by Ministers and the management executive. This year, regions are charged with ensuring further progress with the patients charter, which is a central element in our health programme, seeing through the further implementation of community care and enhancing the health of the nation. They work by monitoring and, with the family health services and district health authorities, strengthen the purchasing power which, as the hon. Gentleman will be aware, is the key to securing the quality improvements that are so important to the nation's health.