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The 'Red Book': would you use an online version or do you prefer the paper copy?

(35 Posts)
NightLark Mon 03-Oct-11 21:37:22

What do you think? Is it something you would find useful to have 'on line'?

The idea is that GPs, practice nurses, HVs etc could fill in the online version with you as needed, plus you would have your own access (just like you can write in your paper copy of the Red Book).

Apparently this idea is being discussed so I was wondering how people felt about it - would it make a difference to you to have an electronic Red Book? Why?

suzikettles Mon 03-Oct-11 21:38:31

I'd be much better off with an online version. I'm rubbish with paperwork but quite organised with electronic files.

NightLark Mon 03-Oct-11 21:39:56

One of the reasons behind this is that a lot of people forget their Red Book at appointments etc, so you're not alone there! Thanks SK.

reallytired Mon 03-Oct-11 21:41:41

No, I think a proper red book is better. It is a simple system and the parent can take it anywhere. For example if a parent moved abroad then they could take with them.

NHS IT systems are crap.

Sirzy Mon 03-Oct-11 21:47:49

You can take the red book with you anywhere. You can't take an online version with you. Daft idea IMO.

Medical proffessionals can access the records easily enough anyway. TBH in all the times DS has been to hospital they never ask for/need his red book.

HerdOfTinyElephants Mon 03-Oct-11 21:49:48

I would much prefer an online version. It's been the same story with all three DCs: I start off religiously carrying it with me and no HCP wants to write in it, then I misplace it and suddenly they all want to see it.

meditrina Mon 03-Oct-11 21:52:23

Paper copy, definitely. It is not yet compulsory to own a computer.

Also, I would worry greatly about the security and integrity of the system.

NightLark Mon 03-Oct-11 21:52:44

But theoretically you CAN take an online version with you - cos it's online. So anywhere you have an internet connection, you would have your Red Book.

There's a point coming out here about whether the Red Book is for parents' benefit or a resource for health professionals I think (like hospitals not needing to see it).

There's a fair amount of duplication of the info in the Red Book on other systems already, e.g. vaccination records will be held electronically at your GPs as well as noted in the Red Book.

twotesttickles Mon 03-Oct-11 21:54:21

A&E depts can never access anything on a Saturday when your child actually needs treatment so no I don't think online versions would help because we can't get it together to make IT work for the NHS.

Sirzy Mon 03-Oct-11 21:55:52

But not everywhere has an internet connection and not everyone has an internet connection (or a computer) they can easily access. It could easily be argued that such a system would make things even harder for low income families and make it difficult to access the vital information.

meditrina Mon 03-Oct-11 21:57:04

I think it's for the parent's benefit.

Look at all the health-related, safety and development information that is tucked in there. It's something which you can be pretty sure all parents get, will look at and will keep and look at again. If you're not on-line, it might be your only handy source of advice - especially if, as happened round my way, they tucked in an insert slip with all sorts of handy local info and contact telephone numbers.

NightLark Mon 03-Oct-11 21:57:09

"Paper copy, definitely. It is not yet compulsory to own a computer."

Good point, and I should have said at the beginning that there are no plans that I am aware of to take away the paper copy, just to add an electronic version.

Great points being made here, esp about the views of NHS IT, keep them coming they are actually being passed on to people who work on these things...

Sirzy Mon 03-Oct-11 21:59:36

I use my red book to keep all of DS appointment letters, discharge letters etc together so when a Dr asks when x happens I can easily find out. You can't do that online.

I am all for technological advances but hate this belief that every aspect of our life has to be done online. Nothing wrong with a good old fashioned, easy to access information book!

RightUpMyRue Mon 03-Oct-11 22:03:51

Unless you sack all HVs over the age of about 40 it will be carnage trying to get them to use a computerised version of a PCHR.

It isn't a good idea.

NightLark Mon 03-Oct-11 22:05:19

Thanks all so far - I have to go to bed now but will check back when I can smile

PippiLongBottom Mon 03-Oct-11 22:08:02

Red book: Red Schmook.

meditrina Mon 03-Oct-11 22:08:50

Also, a minor practical point that will really annoy people - when and by whom would these records be created, and what name would they be created under (given that the child might not yet be named, and may have a different surname to the mother)? With a Red Book all you need is tippex (on all mine as I never changed my name to DH's).

Tigresswoods Mon 03-Oct-11 22:09:56

Ooh I like that idea. This is 2011 after all!

omnishambles Mon 03-Oct-11 22:10:24

Yes please. God knows where my red books are - does anyone know past the newborn stage?

It would be great as it updated with new growth charts and age specific info as your child grew - ooh I feel an app coming on...

SurprisEs Mon 03-Oct-11 22:12:39

DD is 2.2 yrs now and sometimes I like to sit down and read all the growth charts and what weight she was at this point and what she was doing. Soppy I know.
From a medical point of view a lot of the things in the red book are already on a digital file for health professionals to access anyway so I dont see the benefit in an online version.

Sirzy Mon 03-Oct-11 22:13:41

Also how would the HV/midwife update the red book when she visits a house? would we expect them all to be provides with wireless internet connections and a laptop?

Who is going to show the technophobe parents, struggling to cope with a new born how to access the vital information they could have simply had in a book?

seeksnewnamewithgsoh Mon 03-Oct-11 22:15:06

I do like the idea (have recently caught onto online banking, energy readings and tesco shopping with all the stuff in my favourites shock)


It will be one more set of log in details that I'll have to remember. And the red book lives in the change bag, which still goes everywhere that DD does 16 months later.

As long as they do both I think I'd be up for it. But not if they want to scrap the red book. That is A Terrible Idea.

meditrina Mon 03-Oct-11 22:19:45

The important stuff would be on your GPs records anyhow, wouldn't it.

And recent disasters in NHS IT show that national systems do not work well, localism is the way ahead. This seems to me also therefore to be pointlessly duplicative - the GPs record goes on into teens and adulthood. An electronic Red Book would be a duplicate system with time-limited utility at best. So I bet you could print decades worths of books for the cost of development and administration of a new system.

piprabbit Mon 03-Oct-11 22:21:53

I carried DC1's red book in my bag - and it is a complete mess, having been soaked in milk on more than one occasion.

Since having DC2, I now have 2 red books - and don't know what to do with either of them. In fact I'm not clear where they actually are.

I loathe the weight charts (just plain wrong for a BF baby - leading to much pointless nagging and guilt-tripping from HVs).

Not sure that they serve any purpose for the majority of children.

reallytired Mon 03-Oct-11 22:31:23

I would rather the money went into paying health visitor salaries than a poncy online system that probably won't work. When my son was born our GP practice had 3 health visitors and now it has one health visitor that it shares with a neighbouring GP practice.

Why change a system that has worked well for years?

Most parents do manage to look after their red books. I have both for my children and it has been interesting to compare.

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