The development of the site

This site has been built for altruistic reasons only, as a resource for medical education. It carries no advertising and makes no money.

Brad Cheek

I worked as a GP in Workington, Cumbria 2006-2016 and was Lead Training Programme Director ofEast Cumbria Vocational Training Scheme between 2005 and 2011. I don't have any formal IT training.

This site started out in 1992 as www.wellclosesquare.co.uk, in the era of windows 3.1. We were about to get a network in the practice and I was looking for a way to share medical information around the doctors in the practice via a static intranet. I looked at various ways of doing this including windows 3.1 help files, but nothing really met my needs. I really almost stumbled across html - the web was in its infancy. It looked like a simple way to share information, with all the formatting done "on the fly".

I started to build the intranet, but the practice network was delayed by a year or more. I was left with a medical information system which I used on a daily basis and found really useful, so it seemed a good idea to put the information out onto the web for others to use. In those days of dial-up, I also provided a CD-ROM, which was given to all new trainers in the Northern Deanery.

Initially I coded the HTML by hand on a Commodore Amiga, then FrontPage, though I now use Dewamweaver.

This was all, by chance, rather ahead of its time, and essentially I cornered the "GP education market" as far as the web was concerned - there was nothing quite like it anywhere else. The site has become well known internationally, and is regularly used by the medical educators and doctors in training. Initially, most of the content was derived from me, but as the years have gone by others have offered contributions. Some of the content is the notes from my teaching and learning. A lot of the content is in note form which is intelligible to those to whom the site is targeted but may not make much sense to the layman. I recently discovered that the site wasone of the first 400 websites on the world wide web!

I maintain the site for purely altruistic reasons, no income is derived from the site and there is no advertising. I initially got the website structure wrong, and after a few years I had to revamp the whole site. The site continued to expand. A few years ago I altered the style and added a breadcrumb trail. I had the foresight to add a global .css file which I saw as a good way to refresh the site in the future. I use www.freefind.com as the main search engine,   www.changedetection.com to notify users of additions to the website, and have added an rss feed using www.rapidfeeds.com. I have explored what I can do with css to develop the site, stimulated by direct feedback from .net magazine.

The target audience is

  1. me - I use the site every day
  2. medical educators, mainly in the UK
  3. GPs in training
  4. patients (mainly doctors printing out information for patients in the consulting room or as an aid to explanations.)

The archive of this site provides information to the users and is largely text based. It has a number of areas based on my areas of interest:

I stopped using a web counter years ago, because, to me, the numbers using the site were not important. Over the last decade, Google Analytics suggests that the site receives around 2000 visits per day.

I continue to get regular feedback about the site and offers of items to add from medical educators around the world.

 

Gallery of images used in the site