There is growing speculation that the government plans to introduce a new traffic light system on the NHS Choices website to rate people’s health and motivate them to lead a healthier lifestyle.

According to Pulse Magazine, patients accessing the site will be able to input various risk markers, such as whether they smoke, how much they drink and if they take any exercise, to gauge their state of their health. It claims that those generating a red light could then be “encouraged”to see their GP or “health trainer” to help improve their well-being.

BBC News Online says that the new site, which falls under the Department of Health’s Life Check promise to help people assess their own health (as outlined in the White Paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say) will be promoted in Leeds, Hull and Derby this month as part of a trial to measure its success.

But the Department of Health is remaining very tight-lipped on the issue. A spokeswoman told PharmaTimes UK News that the reports of the traffic-light system are at present “just speculation”, and refused to confirm whether any scheduled trials of the scheme are in the pipeline. Furthermore,she said there were no planned announcements regarding the issue “in the near future”.