§ Mr. Gordon Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment(a) his Department and (b) the Medical Devices Agency has made of the effectiveness of bumpers in reducing incidents associated with the use of bed rails. 
§ Jacqui Smith
As part of its evaluation programme on Disability Equipment, the Medical Devices Agency, now the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, published a report on bed safety equipment in February 2002—EL8 "Bed Safety Equipment—An Evaluation"; ISBN 1–84182–568–9.
The report gives information and guidelines to assist users, purchasers and providers to identify and select the most appropriate bed safety product, or product features, to meet the individual needs of different users.
The combined use of bed safety rails and protective covers, or bumpers, was evaluated and described in the report. The report concluded that covers for bed rails are primarily used to prevent impact injuries. They will not necessarily reduce the risk of entrapment and should not, therefore, be regarded as a means to prevent entrapment.