Published: 13/06/2002, Volume II2, No.5809 Page 104

Are you fit for sex? Ooh er. Monitor has always favoured the frank approach (as an alternative to the discreet e-mail address below), but Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals trust really is going it a bit. Yes, it is putting the sex back into Sussex with an exciting challenge for national men's health week. Monitor's interest is stimulated already! Apparently, 'Are you fit for sex?' is 'just one of the key questions we are asking prominent local people' - presumably, the only one fit for a family press release. The trust doesn't only care about those of a 'prominent' persuasion, however - the challenge is open to members of the public too. Although, oddly, the question of whether female people are fit for sex and how that fits into men's health week is left unanswered. The challenge takes place on Brighton's seafront - always challenging to the amorous, due to its uncomfy stones, Monitor seems to remember. Still, Monitor is up for it, as the young people say these days, and not afraid to put his virility to the test.

But sex these days just ain't what it used to be. For Monitor finds that the 'fit for sex' test involves a one-mile walk. It is not quite clear how this will work, except perhaps by generating interest among passers-by in some more intimate exercise later on. But it appears that if you can do a 20-minute mile without getting out of breath, you're 'officially' OK for nooky. Monitor would like to know how the trust intends to audit the results to check they correlate with fitness on the job and is not at all reassured that this will be - as promised - a 'fun, highprofile event'. There are areas in which Monitor hopes his profile does not rise too high in public.

Now, a recap from Monitor's tales of yore. While England repeats its World Cup clash with Argentina and the market reappears in the NHS, who would have thought the disaster-stricken accommodation arrangements of NHS Alliance stalwart Dr Michael Dixon would also resurface in that spooky cyclical way? Monitor will turn to Dr Dixon's house next week. But as a reminder, the tale involves Edgar the Pacific's legs, mad monk Aethelred, an 11th century arson attack - Dr Mike was unharmed - and an unfortunate incident at a fireworks factory. Monitor warns that next week's update features minimal amounts of bathwater.