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Bed-time evidence - Editorial

Bed-time evidence

Our indoor games editor has recovered from the avalanche of letters on reading in bed ( Bandolier 30 ) and from the criticism that we did not broach the incidence (or circumstance) of myocardial infarction after sex. As a tabloid we approach these topics with discretion, following in the tradition of the Parisian madame and the cardinal.

Blanket approval

In 1966 the King's Fund produced a specification and a prototype for what became known as "the King's Fund bed". Designers at the Royal College of Art were commissioned to gather information about what was wrong with the range of beds available in the early '60s and to produce a new bed, taking into account both function and appearance.

The dramatic success of the bed and its derivatives can be seen in many countries. A new specification is part of the King's Fund centenary celebrations. The King's Fund bed needs to be systematically reviewed to take into account issues as diverse as the increasing proportion of severely disabled people managed in their own homes and changes in the staffing and running of hospitals. Readers of Bandolier who would like to make their opinions felt about the bed can write to the King's Fund.

Sheets for your views

Health Technology Assessment asked us to solicit the questions which you need them to tackle form to fill in . Bandolier knows that its readers want more evidence - get an organisation with clout to use R&D resources to provide it.

Saturday night specials

It is infuriating (and it astonishes patients) that we don't have cast-iron evidence for all our clinical decisions. Trials take time, as do comprehensive systematic reviews. A "Saturday night special" is our term for a quick (and dirty because it does not include all the trials ever published on the topic) systematic review. The review on migraine is a Saturday night special, and carries a health warning that it is not complete. It is unrealistic to argue that we shouldn't take a view on something until all the evidence is in. We have to do the best we can and be honest about the shortcomings.

Night cap

Himself from indoor games stood beneath the migrating geese on Port Meadow and pondered - how do geese choose who leads the V in the flying formation?

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