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Case Study - Red Whale


Future-proofing GP training at Red Whale


A KTP with the University of Reading enabled clinical training provider Red Whale to reach and engage with more than 40,000 healthcare professionals in the UK and beyond.

Red Whale blessing

Red Whale provides continuing professional development (CPD) to doctors, nurses, and non-clinical healthcare professionals.  Through its trademark combination of humour, practicality, and evidence-based knowledge, Red Whale provides engaging education and training experiences that translate to immediate patient benefit.



In 2018, following extensive market analysis, Red Whale identified a need to develop a digital training offer to extend and complement its existing face-to-face training provision.

“With huge caseloads and stretched budgets, it was getting harder for GPs to keep abreast of the latest developments through traditional routes such as conferences and journals,” says Red Whale CEO, Martin Haley. “We wanted to offer a convenient, 21st century solution that would meet the training and education needs of family doctors and their practice staff.”

The team at Red Whale recognised that achieving such an ambitious digital transformation would require both technical development knowledge and pedagogic expertise, as the delivery platform would need to be accessible ‘anytime, anywhere’ across a range of devices, while the content needed to align with the core brand values of being engaging, relevant, and fun.



With support from the Knowledge Transfer Centre at the University of Reading, Red Whale secured funding from Innovate UK for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

As a KTP partner, Red Whale gained access to a world-class academic team, with expertise spanning the fields of Cybernetics, Computer Science, and Technology Enhanced Learning, along with a dedicated KTP Associate to facilitate the successful transition to online delivery.

Over the course of two years, this multidisciplinary team brought a unique combination of academic knowledge and hands-on support to Red Whale’s product development process, informing everything from the format and content of the digital training materials to the optimisation of user experience, user accessibility, and strategic stakeholder engagement.



Red Whale successfully launched its new digital training offer in 2020 to an audience of primary health care staff and practitioners including more than half the GPs in the UK. As well as being an instant commercial success, the digital platform offered Red Whale timely resilience to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the face-to-face training sector.

Red Whale used its new digital platform to provide free access to online resources and information about COVID-19 to over 40,000 primary healthcare professionals throughout the pandemic, including regular updates on government-issued procedural advice.

“Expanding the business to online training was incredibly timely,” explains Martin Haley, CEO at Red Whale. “It meant we could communicate to GPs – in an easily accessible, engaging format – the practical implications of the vast amount of research data on COVID-19 as it evolved, as well as continue to deliver wider medical education throughout lockdown.”

This benefit was extended internationally through Red Whale’s social enterprise department, which provided free access to relevant resources for family doctors in low-income countries.

The KTP between Red Whale and the University of Reading was so successful that it was named Best Knowledge Transfer Partnership at the Innovate UK KTP Awards – and it’s not hard to see why. As Red Whale’s CEO Martin Haley says: “This outstanding collaboration has enabled us to not only create and launch an ambitious new product, but also to develop more agile working practices and, ultimately, to future-proof our business.”