Published: 16/06/2005, Volume II5, No. 5960 Page 42

If you are an NHS employee in Wiltshire, look out: you are about be quizzed on your eating, drinking, smoking and exercise habits. You do not eat five pieces of fruit a day? Prepare to be shamed.

This summer as many as 25,000 public sector workers in the county will take part in perhaps the UK's largestever employee health survey.

Healthier Wiltshire, the organisation behind the poll, is a three-year project which aims to make the county the healthiest in the country by 2014. It has already drawn up a proposed framework for being a 'healthy employer'.

Suggestions include: healthy food standards at work for canteens, vending machines and working lunches; workbased cookery classes by 2006;

encouraging staff to walk 10,000 steps a day; and providing access to subsidised leisure and gym facilities.

Project director John Nicholas, a former primary care trust chief executive, says the health poll will establish some valuable baselines.

Staff will be given four simple questions: do they smoke, take regular exercise, drink more than the recommended weekly alcohol units and eat five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day?

Healthier Wiltshire will then set county-wide targets.

For those keen to see how far Wiltshire has to go to top the health stakes, the poll results are due in the autumn.

E-mail: healthier@wiltshire. gov. uk