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Traffic light system for patients

7th November 2007

A new traffic light system is to be used to assess people’s health on an NHS website.


Users of the NHS Choices website can now have their health rated as red, amber or green under the traffic light system.

Visitors to the site can already use it to establish what are the most common diseases in their area, but now they can obtain a more individual response by typing in their specific details.

By keying in their levels of alcohol consumption, whether they smoke, and their sexual activity, they will be rated by the traffic light system on the “Life Check? aspects of the site and those given a red light will be offered advice and may be directed to their GP or a “health trainer.?

It will also assess mental health, risk of cardiovascular disease and sexual health.

The scheme is being trialled in Leeds, Hull and Derby - although as it is online anyone can access it – and if it proves successful it will be rolled out nationwide next year.

However, the Patients’ Association has criticised the venture as a waste of money saying it sounded “far too broadbrush to be of use to anyone.?

But Professor Robert West, an adviser to the Department of Health and professor of health psychology at UCL, said it had potential.

Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said: “Traffic-light style guidance is one of a number of options that we are currently considering and we will be guided by the results of the trials.?


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Article Information

Title: Traffic light system for patients
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 4702
Date Added: 7th Nov 2007


BBC News

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