Next steps on the Five Year Forward View: New parents in London to benefit from online Redbook

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From April, parents of the 136,000 babies born across London each year will be able to record and manage information about their child’s health and development online. The NHS in England has today announced a digital version of the Redbook will be rolled out across London, answering calls from parents who often lose information when Redbooks are misplaced.

The e-Redbook, a digital version of the Redbook will be rolled out across London, making it quicker and easier for new parents to view and manage health records. The traditional Redbook is the personal health record given to all new parents to manage their child’s health between 0-5 years; the eRedbook will allow new parents and health professionals to remotely access and enter information from anywhere with an internet connection – through a desktop, tablet or smartphone.

The digital initiative is being delivered collaboratively by NHS England, Sitekit and NHS Digital across London and has been previously piloted in Newham; Greenwich; Kingston; Inner North West London; Barnet with the aim of replacing the paper version, offering parents access to their child’s information, using secure technology.

The eRedbook, includes information on immunisations, weight/height charts, developmental firsts and important contacts. It also contains practical, personalised information for new parents, including links to relevant videos and information from local sources.

Other features include:

  • Important questions for health visit – parents are encouraged to record any questions they may have for the health visitor or other professional, ensuring that the health visit is as efficient as possible and that parents receive the information they require to care for their child.
  • Automatic plotting on weight and growth charts – both parents and health professionals can use the digital charts to plot new data on the weight and growth of a child. The digital charts are less error-prone than paper charts, as data is plotted automatically, including the pre-term correction, which is also automated.
  • Appointment updates and reminders – this reduces the number of missed appointments, saving cost for the NHS and improving immunisation uptake. It also has the potential to replace the paper appointment letters that the NHS sends out, as this information can be distributed digitally.

Starting in April, women in London will be able to access the eRedbook on an app on their tablet technology, smart phone or even on a desktop from when they are 28 weeks pregnant, rather than waiting until their baby is born, allowing them to be able to become familiar with the content and learn about their baby’s development milestones, before the baby arrives.

Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chair of NHS England’s Maternity Transformation Programme Board, said: “In an increasingly digital world, parents rightly expect the NHS to offer the technology they use in their day to day lives, and the eRedbook is an excellent example of how we are working with other NHS organisations in London to make this expectation a reality.

“Parents will feel more confident and have a greater understanding of their baby’s healthcare needs, including their vaccinations and major milestones, and will always have vital information about their child’s health available at the touch of a button.”

A London patient who has been using the eRedbook said: “I love the eRedbook – the mobility and readily available access to my son’s health information is incredibly reassuring while I am too tired to remember anything!”

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