Using eRedbook to support military families overseas
Military families are highly mobile, regularly moving in and out of the UK and between different bases across the world. Health records can take months to transfer once a family is posted, and the paper Red Book is often packed in storage or easily misplaced in transit.
The NHS commissions SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, to provide community health and social care services to UK military families posted overseas. However, this is difficult to do when available health records are not complete or up to date, are not accessible to parents themselves and are dependent on the sometimes unreliable health systems that exist within the various host nations.
SSAFA needed a mobile, easily accessible solution that provided parents with reliable, localised information, and health professionals with up-to-date records.
SSAFA recognised that parents themselves were best placed to record and carry their child’s health information, so they worked with Sitekit to pilot eRedbook at two of their military sites in Cyprus and Kenya. The project was achieved through collaboration with SSAFA health professionals, families and other organisations within the communities. Nearly three-quarters of SSAFA families involved in the project have taken up the opportunity to use eRedbook.
eRedbook gives parents and health professionals access to a child’s health and development records, following the Healthy Child Programme. This includes immunisation reminders and records, height and weight checks, and records of contact with health professionals.
eRedbook also delivers clinically validated advice and guidance to parents, shown in the form of a timeline. Furthermore, it has the functionality for approved organisations to upload their own content, so that parents can see reliable, localised information that is relevant to them and their families.
- Parents have ownership of their child’s records, empowering them to manage and make decisions about their child’s health.
- Parents have immediate access to advice and guidance that is timely, localised, valid and relevant. This is particularly beneficial for families when they move between different countries and health systems.
- Parents can use eRedbook to share their child’s development with other family members elsewhere in the world.
- Families who move around a lot or at short notice have a reassuring element of continuity in the care, support and advice they receive.
For SSAFA health professionals
- When a family relocates, local health professionals can easily see a child’s history and therefore more quickly identify any support they might need in their new area.
- There is no unnecessary delay or duplication of immunisations or checks when a family relocates, as up-to-date records are carried with the family.
- SSAFA are able to create their own messages and other NHS or host nation content, so they can communicate quickly and directly with families across their disparate population.
Accessible health and development records
“I love the premature baby growth charts as I’ve been able to see my baby’s growth really clearly and the curve that she is on.” – Mum, Epi launch event
Local, relevant content
“The SSAFA information is really useful to me, I’m not on Facebook and so often feel like I’m missing out on what is going on.” – Mum, Aki antenatal class
Keeping in touch
“My husband is due to go on exercise soon so being able to share the record with him whilst he is away will be really good for keeping him involved.” – Mum, Dhk launch event
Military families are highly mobile, regularly moving in and out of the UK and between different bases across the world. Health records can take months to transfer once a family is posted, and the paper Red Book is often packed in storage or easily misplaced in transit. eRedbook helps solve this problem, providing support for highly mobile military families and the professionals they work with and achieving 75% uptake by posted parents.
- Executive Summary:
Providing support for highly mobile military families and the professionals they work with achieving 75% uptake.