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We Love Our GPs

Passionate about primary care

Red Whale
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We Love Our GPs

There has been much talk in recent years about a GP crisis in the UK. There are simply not enough GPs; numbers are falling in real terms, while the number of patients, and the complexity of their needs, are increasing. The result is that GPs are demotivated, overstretched and underappreciated.

At Red Whale, we have always taken pride in supporting individual GPs, but now we want to do more to support the whole profession that we are so passionate about.

Our We Love Our GPs campaign is about not only celebrating the vital role of GPs and primary care, but also about making sure that GPs' voices and concerns are heard, listened to, and acted upon.

Diagnosing the GP crisis: voices from the front line of primary care

At the heart of our campaign is our white paper, based on our survey of over 1000 GPs across the UK.

The survey highlights what we, and the majority of those working on the frontlines of general practice have known for some time: the impact of unmanageable workloads has reached a critical point. This is having an effect on retaining and recruiting GPs, and on GPs' wellbeing and ability to perform their duty safely.

Our white paper puts our core findings into context, using data from other reports and surveys, together with the views and experiences of working GPs. It provides the Government, the RCGP, CCGs, NHS England and other decision-making bodies with feedback 'from the front line' - backed up by all the relevant figures.

We are listening to what GPs are saying, and we want those decision makers to listen too, before it's too late.

What Can I Do?

Add my voice

If you're a GP or medical professional, get your voice heard by signing your support for our campaign now.

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Share the Love

Show your love to GPs and primary care by sharing this campaign on social media or email.


Get updates

Make sure you don't miss out - get the latest blogs, topical summaries and downloads straight to your inbox!

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Resources for GPs

Here at Red Whale we want to make things easy for busy GPs. So as well as campaigning for better recognition of the vital role of primary care, and acting as an amplifier for GP voices on the issues that matter, we are also offering GPs a range of downloadable resources.

Cauda Equina Syndrome

Today’s blog will look at a paper from 2016 which attempted to validate a toolkit for the early identification of cauda equina syndrome (Primary healthcare research and development 2016;17:559).

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Tis the season for all with COPD to present in primary care with an exacerbation. Our job is to work out who would benefit from those antibiotics we are guarding so carefully. 

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Eye Problems in Contact Lens Wearers

Patients will often present to primary care complaining of eye irritation symptoms. Many of these patients will be contact lens wearers, so how do we begin to stratify risk in this group?


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Transient Loss of Consciousness in Adults

TLoC is an unusual presentation, so when it does come up, we may be unsure as to whether or not we should be worried about our patients.  

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Flu Treatment- When to reach for the Tamiflu?

When winter hits, flu season comes around again and clinics are fit to burst! So we've made a handy summary of when to consider antiviral treatments, which ones to use, and whether or not they work!

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Are we having an outbreak of diphtheria?

In November 2019 reports emerged of 2 adults in the UK diagnosed with diphtheria, triggering widespread panicked headlines talking of possible ‘outbreaks’ of this serious infectious disease.

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Is HRT riskier than we previously realised?

HRT is one of those areas where the pendulum of medical opinion seems to swing hard from one side to the other- is HRT safe or not? Our patients are understandably worried by media headlines, but should we be worried too?

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Chlamydia vaccine news!

Headlines recently reported there's a ‘chlamydia cure on the horizon’. Is this true? Are we heading towards vaccinations? Read our summary of a recent trial on the chlamydia vaccine.

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Can we use Febuxostat in patients with CVD?

The MHRA have recently issued a warning around the use of the gout prophylaxis medication febuxostat in those with cardiovascular disease. What are our management options?

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Afternoon naps reduce the risk of stroke?

A recent Swiss cohort study found a reduced risk of stroke in those taking 1-2 naps per week. Happy days! 

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Chronic Urinary Retention

Chronic urinary retention is a problem commonly seen in primary care. A useful BMJ Clinical practice article summarised the main subtypes and how we should be managing them.

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a rare but important presentation in primary care and was the subject of a recent BMJ 'easily missed' article.

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PPI Weaning - Study Results and our Conclusions

Guidelines encourage us to reduce PPI usage, but how do we do this? A study investigated this and showed some interesting results.

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Asthma and Beta-Blockers Drug Dilemma

Are beta-blockers safe or not in those with asthma?

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Should patients take glucosamine for heart disease?

A recent observational cohort study has been widely reported with positive headlines: “5p pill cuts risk of fatal heart attack by a 5th”. Sounds pretty good! What’s the evidence?

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Treating Ear Wax in Primary Care

NICE guidelines offer guidance for primary care on removing earwax, and when to refer to secondary care or audiology services. We look at their guidelines and the possible benefits and harms of different methods of ear wax removal.

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DNAs & Mortality

DNAs hit the headlines earlier this year after NHS England revealed that over 15m appointments are missed each year. And a recent study made links between DNAs and mortality. Should this change our practice?

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Endocarditis GEM

Download our GEM summarising key things you need to know about endocarditis!

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New Pill ‘as good as statins, but without same side effects’?

The headlines were eye-grabbing, “slashes heart attacks and strokes with no statin side effects” claimed The Sun. So, what is this wonder drug and are these headlines true?

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Suicide and Self-Harm in Teens

Adolescent suicide and self-harm has a very high profile in the media at present and managing adolescent mental health problems is often one of the more difficult things we do in primary care. What do we know? And what does a recent cohort study tell us?

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Alcohol and Cancer Risk

Just how many cigarettes are there in 1 bottle of wine? A new study reveals some interesting findings.

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New Insomnia Screening Tool

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder we will see in primary care, but assessing for insomnia is time consuming, and often falls by the way-side during a busy consultation with multiple problems to be sorted!

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Diarrhoea and Vomiting in children - Oral rehydration solution (ORS)

ORS tastes disgusting! Should we be switching to fruit juice instead? You may have heard of a useful study which looked at whether oral rehydration solution is better than fruit juice for children with diarrhoea and vomiting.

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Managing concussion in children

Mild concussion symptoms can occur for a variety of reasons, and there may well be times where it is appropriate for a GP to be involved in the assessment of severity and ongoing management plan.

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Intracranial haemorrhage after head injury

Knowing when to worry is arguably one of the key skills in delivering successful primary care - especially when it comes to head injuries.

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Hereditary haemochromatosis: symptoms, screening and treatment

Hereditary haemochromatosis is an autosomal recessive disease which leads to increased intestinal absorption of iron, resulting in accumulation of iron in tissues, especially the liver.

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When should we refer for hip replacement?

A recent Lancet systematic review questions concerns about the longevity of a total hip replacement.

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Managing depression in dementia

Managing depression in patients living with dementia can be a clinical challenge in primary care. Around 10-20% of our dementia patients will suffer from depression, and antidepressants are commonly used, despite limited evidence of their efficacy.

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Dementia and driving

Being able to drive safely can be a lifeline for our vulnerable elderly population. Knowing when to stop is a common cause of concern. Formal dementia driving assessments are available, but who decides when a patient should be referred for one of these?

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How to prescribe loop diuretics

We summarise a truly practical article in the BMJ which addresses loop diuretics.

We highlight a few tips and share our top ten take home messages from the article.

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Cholangiocarcinoma and diabetes drugs

New diabetes drugs seem to appear daily, and can leave us feeling slightly bemused and wondering whether the new drugs are any safer or better than the ones we are more familiar with? Read our summary of a recent cohort study.

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Working at Scale: News round-up for England

So..what’s been going on? It has been a busy few weeks of reviews, policy making and strategy setting for general practice. Keen to find out more? We summarise the latest documents and reviews in this week's blog.

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Trauma Informed Care - Part 1

Did you know that one factor is implicated in 7 out of 10 deaths in the USA?

If exposed, your life expectancy may be shortened by up to 20 years and you have triple the risk of heart disease and lung cancer.

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ACE inhibitors and lung cancer Link? Say What?!

You may have seen the (frankly terrifying) headlines about lung cancer risk and ACE inhibitor use recently. Where has this come from and what should we be advising our worried patients?

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Combined oral contraception and childhood leukaemia

In September 2018 a Danish cohort study was published in Lancet Oncology exploring the association between maternal hormonal contraceptive use and childhood leukaemia. We summarise the study and the results in this week's blog. 

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6 things to do with your GP Update handbook

You could read your GP Update handbook through cover to cover – yes, we know this will take a very long time and, whilst we are in favour of non-drug treatments for insomnia – we think the stuff in the book is too good to digest in one sitting. Here's a few interactive ideas!

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Vaginal Mesh Update

An independent Government enquiry in June 2018 has ruled that all surgery using vaginal mesh should be stopped immediately in England, pending further research into the safety of the devices.

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Should we use tamsulosin to manage renal colic?

The gritty problem of the role of alpha-blockers in managing renal stones seems to come back around again like waves of colicky pain, year after year.

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The Benefits of Exercise!

We nag our patients, and feel guilty ourselves, about exercise. We know it is important. But what is the right exercise, and how much is enough?

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Penicillin Allergy

1/3 of adults in the UK are labelled with a drug allergy, most commonly penicillin. Most patients with a documented allergy are in fact not allergic – up to 95% in some studies. What should we do when presented with a possible penicillin drug reaction in primary care?

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Using caffeine to get you through? Great News- you could be protecting your health!

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Migraine and Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Migraine known to be associated with increased risk ischaemic CVD, new study points to increased risk most cardiovascular disease including MI, haemorrhagic stroke, VTE & AF

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Weight loss as a predictor of cancer

As primary care clinicians, unexplained weight loss can be a challenging symptom, especially if it occurs in isolation. It can be an indicator of cancer, but also many non-cancer conditions.

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New menopause drugs cuts hot flushes by 75% in just 3 days!

An alternative to HRT would be welcomed with open arms by women suffering from menopausal symptoms but unable or unwilling to take hormonal treatments, and this study had a very positive reception in the papers and on the radio.

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Fit Notes

Fit notes were introduced in 2010 to improve communication between health professionals, patients and their employers about the functional impacts of patient’s health conditions. Here are our top ten facts.

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Genitourinary Syndrome of the Menopause Drug Dilemma

Affecting up to 50% of women and tends to become apparent 4-5 years after the menopause.

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"BCG vaccine can reverse Type 1 diabetes to almost undetectable levels"

This is what The Telegraph said this month. Sounds too good to be true? We are here to tell you about the science behind the sensation…

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Diabetes Risk Calculator Updated for 2018

2018 sees the release of an updated QDiabetes risk calculator to estimate 10-year risk for Type 2 diabetes. This made the headlines in…wait for it…NONE of the UK papers, but we think it is interesting for us in primary care. It will be embedded into EMIS in due course.

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Ockham Healthcare Podcast - Developing GP Leaders

Our very own author, presenter and course director, Rachel Morris, talks to Ben about the need for leadership skills training and resilience tactics for General Practice.

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Post Op Thromboprophylaxis

We have been considering common primary care issues after joint replacement surgery on our Spring courses. We were surprised that a BMJ article suggested that for thromboprophylaxis, LMWH, DOACs or aspirin might be valid options.

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Dying Matters Week

May 14-20th is Dying Maters awareness week. Encouraging people to talk about their wishes towards the end of their lives, can help people to have a ‘good’ death, and comfort relatives after death.

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Strokes. Migraine. AF and CKD

“Average age of first stroke in England falls, figures show.” BBC 1st Feb 2018.

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Steam treatment for big prostates approved on NHS

In August 2018 NICE issued a technology briefing approving a new treatment for treatment of BPH: transurethral water vapour ablation.

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PIP Appeal Letter

Just one of the many frustrating extras added to the workload of the average GP. Check out our three PIP top tips to make your life easier.

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One of our delegates asked which anti-hypertensives were best to use in gout and sent us searching through the archives to find out- your wish is our command!

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Using triptans and SSRIs together

How big is the risk of ‘serotonin syndrome’ really?

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Iron Supplement Lancet Study

How effective is the 'take what you can' strategy when it comes to iron supplementation? Lancet finds out...

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Ketogenic diet and Type 2 Diabetes - part two

In the second of our articles focussing on diet in Type 2 diabetes we are going to look at low carbohydrate ketogenic diets, (LCKD) and their role in Diabetes Management.

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Diabetes and Very Low Calorie Diets - part one

Very low calorie diets in the management of diabetes were the subject of a recent trial in the UK and made lots of headlines shortly before Christmas, with dramatic quotes such as "I beat diabetes with 200 KCal drinks" – BBC news Dec 5th 2017.

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HPV Vaccine reduces the need for smear tests

Some good news for General Practice – the Cervical Screening Programme we deliver does a good job of reducing cervical cancer risk for women in the UK!

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Cervical screening programme update

Theresa May has agreed to consider a review of the UK cervical screening programme in response to concerns that the test should be offered to younger women.

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Travelling with medication

Many practices offer travel clinics, often as a private service run by practice nurses, so what advice, if any, should we be giving to our patients about this issue?

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PPI’s and stomach cancer risk, what do we need to know?

‘Acid reflux drug linked to more than doubled risk of stomach cancer (Guardian, Oct 31st 2017)’. This story is likely to cause worries for our patients, and highlights an important drug dilemma for primary care prescribers.

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The Red Whale Top 10 Articles from 2017!

We’ve put our heads together and compiled our most useful, interesting or practice changing papers and articles from 2017.

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Antibiotics or NSAIDs...for uncomplicated urinary tract infection?

UTIs are a common problem in primary care. Internationally they are second only to respiratory tract infection as a trigger for use of antibiotics. Safe strategies to reduce antibiotic prescribing are needed.

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Bariatric Surgery

More and more patients are choosing bariatric surgery to manage obesity, and we already have good evidence of the effectiveness of surgery at reducing risk of diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia in the short term.

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Scarlet fever on the rise

Remind yourself of the differential diagnoses and management guidance with our summary and take home messages

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Suggested Patient Travel Letter - for patients wanting to take medication abroad

Download a suggested letter template for your patients who need to travel with medication.

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Are we rediscovering the roots of primary care?

GP failure or effective shared decision making for statins?

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What you need to know - Statin initiations and Qrisk scores.

Essential take home messages and the full BJGP article.

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Health At A Glance Report 2017

Great stuff is happening in the NHS and primary care, and our summary highlights some of the positive trends from the UK Healthcare sector. Published in the OECD Health At A Glance report 2017.

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BLOG - How Not To Over Complicate The Revalidation Process

Dr Steve Pratt has 6 essential steps to ensure a smooth and successful revalidation process.

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Waiting Room Posters

Get the positive message across to help ease your workload. Save this PDF to your desktop, and tailor the posters' figures to suit your practice using Adobe Reader.

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Locum Essentials: the Red Whale Guide

UPDATED FOR 2017! Are you a Locum, or considering becoming one? This easy reference guide brings together all the administrative and surgery essentials you need.

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Media resources

For all press enquiries about the 'We Love Our GPs' campaign, please email us or call 0118 960 7077.

Case Studies

GPs give us the inside scoop on their experiences of unmanageable workloads.

More case studies to come shortly...

Who We Are

Red Whale is one of the leading providers of primary care medical education in the UK, with over 13,000 primary care practitioners attending our courses each year. All our courses are evidence-based, relevant to everyday practice, and full of action points that delegates can take away and implement immediately. We are proud to say we take NO money whatsoever from the pharmaceutical industry. We tell it like it is, not how big pharma would like you to hear it!

If you want to ask any questions about the campaign, make suggestions or just say hello, contact us on 0118 960 7077 or email