In 2007 two practising GPs had a dream of helping themselves and their colleagues by taking CPD from a tick box exercise to a practical tool that could really help day to day practice. They talked to a frustrated accountant who wanted to make a difference in the world. The three clinked their mugs over the kitchen table and ‘GP Update’ was born.
12 years later, a new name, 50 team members and over 15,000 primary care clinicians trained each year, Red Whale still has its roots firmly around that kitchen table. The desire to be a force for good and the ethos that drove the trio to launch is still at the heart of our business today.
Our mission is to provide you with the best quality medical education in the UK (and abroad through our Social Enterprise PCI) – creating content that you can put into practice straight away, making your life a little bit easier and enabling you to provide your patients with the best care possible.
We try to offer products that respond to the different learning styles of all primary care clinicians, at different stages in their career; from our beloved handbooks to our flagship one day face to face update courses, to online courses, award winning webinars and online resources you can access 24/7.
And whilst we can’t promise to make the long days shorter, the dark days lighter or your appointment list any less crowded, we CAN promise that we will do some of the hard work for you, cutting through the clutter and producing relevant content and tools to help you deal with the challenges you face every day and save you time and energy.
The quality of our education is our guiding principle. We are far from perfect, but we will never knowingly let our standards drop. If we accidentally make a mistake (and we do make a few), we will tell you and apologise.
We hold our customers, colleagues, suppliers and environmental concerns at the forefront of every decision we make. We strive to do better by each and every one of our stakeholders, even when it costs us more to do so.
While all that might sound a bit serious, we never take ourselves too seriously, incorporating a good dose of humour in everything we do.
Oh, and you’ve probably heard us mention this before, but we will never ever EVER take pharmaceutical company sponsorship of any kind, no exhibitors, no pharma sponsored mail shots, not even a biscuit a pen or a sticky note! And we’re shamelessly proud of it!
In 2013, five years after Red Whale was born, the founders got together around the same kitchen table with another group of people passionate about enabling the best possible care through education in resource poor settings but frustrated by the barriers that prevented this.
Globally there has long been under-investment in primary care. Every year, 41 million people die from NCDs, mostly in low and middle income countries. Primary care, in the community, is the place where NCDs are usually best addressed, in terms of early diagnosis and early intervention. Health workers need training and support to offer consistent quality care in the community. The systems around them also need to change. In response to these challenges, Primary Care International was born.
Red Whale became a founding partner for the organisation and to this day, still supports PCI in its mission to support primary healthcare systems and health workers and to tackle the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) around the world.
Since its start, PCI has worked with a wide range of partners and clients, from major public health organisations like the World Health Organisation (WHO), to international non-governmental organisations to smaller agencies testing innovative approaches and pioneering new approaches to family medicine across the world.
PCI has trained clinicians in numerous countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, in some of the harshest and poorest conditions that exist. They have also developed NCD guidelines for the care of refugees globally, using only WHO essential medicines. We donate our intellectual property to PCI so they can deliver Red Whale-style courses and online learning to healthcare providers outside of the UK. Profits from this work go to support our work in low and middle-income countries.
To read more about PCI’s work, to commission Red Whale services overseas, or to get involved in our projects, please visit https://pci-360.com/. If you’d like to find out about PCI's GP Update 5-Day Global Programme for family medicine doctors practising outside of the UK, please click here.