CIPHER Medical Blog is the place to find the latest innovation in training, education and  service delivery and support.


Welcome to CIPHER News.  See below to keep up to date with what’s going on within CIPHER Medical Consultancy.  Also register here for our newsletter and stay up to date.

  • 28 Jan 2019 3:24 PM | Andy Thomas (Administrator)

    CIPHER Medical Consultancy Limited, based in Hartlepool, are pleased to announce that they have signed a three-year deal with Tough Mudder as sole medical provider to the UK’s premier endurance obstacle event company. This contract adds to CIPHER’s impressive and growing portfolio of clients who seek to obtain top class medical provision at their events during the 2019 season. 

    As sole event medical provider at all 12 of Tough Mudder’s events, in diverse locations such as London, the South West and Scotland, CIPHER Medical will be on hand to provide expert medical care to competitors by providing highly trained doctors, paramedics, nurses and first aiders.  

    Utilising static field hospitals and its fleet of all-terrain vehicles, road ambulances and cycle response units, competitors can be assured of a swift and professional response in the rare event that the need arises due to illness or injury during the event. 

    Andy Thomas Managing Director of CIPHER Medical, said,

    “To be working with a distinguished client such as Tough Mudder is excellent news for both the company and great news for the North East.  After leaving the Royal Air Force 3 years ago and setting up CIPHER medical, it’s great to be putting the skills and leadership tools learned on deployed operations such as Afghanistan to event medical care.  This small company has grown rapidly over the past few years and we are very proud to be working with Tough Mudder. It is a testament to our team of predominantly North East Based professionals and clinical staff that allow us to deliver high standards of care and innovative event solutions. We look forward to the 2019 season and sending teams of up to 50 people and numerous vehicles to events at locations all around the UK. Our vast experience at attending events such as the Indoor Athletics Championship in Birmingham, the Tall Ships in Liverpool, plus hundreds of other events coupled with our significant investment in kit and equipment means we will deliver the highest standards of event medical care to Tough Mudder and other clients.” 

    "We are really excited to be working with CIPHER medical in 2019. The CIPHER team brings with them a wealth of experience and knowledge and will be working closely with us to provide top class medical cover at our events. CIPHER are an innovative and exciting company that allows Tough Mudder to adapt quickly to change while also ensuring the safety of our participants."  Liz Fisher, European Operations Director, Tough Mudder.

    Founded in 2010 with the launch of the Tough Mudder obstacle course event series, Tough Mudder Inc. has become a leading global sport, active lifestyle and media brand. With more than 3 million participants, the company hosts more than 100 non-competitive (Mini Mudder; Tough Mudder 5K, Tough Mudder Classic) and competitive (Tougher, Toughest, Tough Mudder X and World’s Toughest Mudder) events annually in 11 countries.

    CIPHER stands for Clinical, Innovation, Pre-Hospital, Education and Research. We are a Care Quality Commission Registered Ambulance Service and provide First Aid, Nurse, Paramedic and Doctor cover to the event industry both locally to small events and larger regional and national events. We continue to provide NHS support and should your event require medical support contact us at
  • 27 Nov 2018 4:10 PM | Andy Thomas (Administrator)

    CIPHER Medical awarded all VELO29 Events for 2019 and beyond

    It is with great pleasure that we can announce that CIPHER Medical has been awarded the contract to be the sole medical provider for all VELO29 Cycling events.  This builds on CIPHER Medical’s existing contracts and ever-growing reputation as a market leader in providing event medical and first aid event services.

    CIPHER Medical will be supporting the VELO29 team in delivering their exciting range of high-quality cycling events including professional races, sportives and winter series race events.  VELO29 are a leading provider and deliver high quality and engaging events based around the UK. They ensure a range of challenges and enjoyment are delivered to all their participants at every level.  As always with event provision it is essential to provide the safest of event support and the partnership with CIPHER Medical allows participants to be safe in the knowledge that high-quality medical provision is in place.

    CIPHER Medical’s Managing Director had this to say on the partnership “The partnership with VELO29 see’s two organisations with reputations of delivering high-quality events and services in their respective fields, come together in the interest of delivering the best of cycling events with the safe knowledge of providing high-quality event medical support.  We are very excited to be working with Richard and his team and we are very much looking forward to a successful 2019 season and beyond.”

    James, Head of Operations for Velo29 said “I have seen the CIPHER Medical team work at various events this year and I have been astounded at the high quality and professional way they conduct themselves. Whether it is, a first aider simply encouraging participants at an event or a paramedic attending to a serious injury, CIPHER Medical have been outstanding. It was a ‘no-brainer’ that we asked them to be our sole medical provider and so far I am not disappointed. The attention to detail and planning CIPHER Medical provide is second to none”

    CIPHER look forward to providing this service in 2019 and in future years.  Should you require you require event medical or event first aid cover no matter how big or how small contact us by clicking link below:

    Contact CIPHER  

    Equally to book onto a Velo29 cycling event visit the Velo29 website below:

    Velo 29 Website

  • 4 Sep 2018 2:49 PM | Andy Thomas (Administrator)

    CIPHER Education Zone - ESS 2018: "Delivering Clinical Care and Education with Distinction"

    Stand Q31


    CIPHER Medical are back for a second year at the emergency services show to provide free training for health care professionals, ambulance staff, police and fire.  Our education zone is designed to provide an adult learning environment to complement the show in which all are welcome to learn and share education and clinical learning.  Employing our education ethos of ‘Making excellence the clinical standard’, we will explore areas such as traumatic cardiac arrest, stab wounds, end of life care and both days will include a live resuscitative thoracotomy demonstration.  So, come by and say hello and join us for one of our educational experiences at stand Q31.

    Day 1 

    Traumatic Cardiac Arrest 

    Wednesday 19 September 2018 10:00 – 11:00

     Click to book

    This session will explore Traumatic Cardiac Arrest in the pre-hospital environment and look at how it takes a system to save a life.  It will explore the basic principles of trauma resuscitation discuss the latest practice and considerations and address some of the debate around CPR, adrenaline use and much more.

    Treating stab wounds – Including a full resuscitative thoracotomy demonstration

    Wednesday 19 September 2018 13:00 to 15:00

     Click to book 

    This session will include a lecture on the treatment of stab wounds and will look at the treatments and care bundles that can be delivered ranging from first aid treatments, to professional interventions and the advanced procedures of specialist teams such as HEMS.

    This will then involve a real time scenario using the new PROSIMBODIES which will include a real time resuscitative thoracotomy being performed.

    Resuscitation for Fire and Police – The vital links for increasing survivors

    Wednesday 19 September 2018 16:00 to 17:00

    Click to book


    This lecture is aimed at all attendees but with a key focus on the role the fire and police play in increasing survival from out of hospital cardiac arrest.  We will aim to deliver an informative session for police and fire staff to educate and improve resuscitation based around the theme ‘it takes a system to save a life’.

    Day 2 


    Treating stab wounds – Including a full resuscitative thoracotomy demonstration

    Thursday 20 September 2018 10:00 to 12:00

     Click to book

    A second chance to attend this session which will include a lecture on the treatment of stab wounds and will look at the treatments and care bundles that can be delivered ranging from first aid treatments, to professional interventions and the advanced procedures of specialist teams such as HEMS.

    This will then involve a real time scenario using the new PROSIMBODIES which will include a real time resuscitative thoracotomy being performed.


    Making end of life decisions in EMS: Exploring the ethical and legal challenges through the eyes of a Paramedic

    Thursday 20 September 2018 14:00 to 15:00

     Click to book

    With an ageing population and increased demand on services how do we manage end of life care in the pre-hospital (EMS) environment.  This session aims to explore both the ethical and legal decisions through the eyes of a paramedic.

    Paediatric Resuscitation: It’s just a small adult don’t worry

    Thursday 20 September 2018 15:00 to 15:45

    Click o book


    This session aims to explore and remove the fear around paediatric resuscitation and is ideal for all those groups involved in the chain of survival.  We will look into all aspects of the resuscitation including clinical treatment, the emotional response and dealing with parents and carers.



    Our education zone aims to provide ESS 2018 delegates with a space for forward thinking, collaboration in an adult multi-professional learning environment.  We look forward to welcoming you all at ESS 2018 on stand Q31.

  • 29 May 2018 8:03 PM | Andy Thomas (Administrator)

    CIPHER Medical Bespoke Teaching to Ray Mears & the Woodlore Team

    By Chris Jones

    On a very cold February weekend, Andy and Chris, Managing Director and Head of Education for CIPHER Medical Consultancy were invited to Woodlore, the first School of Wilderness and Bushcraft established by Ray Mears in 1983.


    The expert instructors at Woodlore teach bushcraft skills such as shelter building, fire starting, tree and plant recognition and much more, such as navigation skills, wilderness survival and cooking with wild food. Although delegates are closely supervised and expertly tutored, as with any responsible company working with members of the public it is important that their tutors are trained in first aid and essential life-saving skills. 

    Fortunately for Andy and Chris when they ventured to the training area in the South East they found the staff to be already highly competent in basic first aid skills and could therefore concentrate on more in-depth trauma and life-support skills while refreshing the essential first aid skills required by the Health and Safety Executive to achieve the first aid at work certificate. 

    On day one, after setting up camp at about 5pm in temperatures of around 1°C and a tasty brew around the already burning campfire, the team all gathered at the classroom area where Keith Whitehead, the lead instructor at Woodlore and Ray Mears led the introductions and gave a presentation about the interesting history and development of Woodlore, their future and also discussed real-life examples of the importance of being competent about dealing with emergencies in the wilderness. 

    Little did the staff know that the CIPHER team had set-up a little surprise in the form of a simulated bear attack! 

    By now, it was dark and around -3°C.Using SIMBODIES, a hyper-realistic mannequin created by the TraumaFX team in Thirsk, North Yorkshire,and distributed in the UK & Ireland by CIPHER Medical.

    SIMBODIES Website

      Andy and Chris wanted to ascertain the level of training the Woodlore instructors already had by finding out how they coped with a casualty who had received multiple life-threating injuries. 

    The answer was very well! The two new members of staff, with limited first aid experience, were utilised in appropriate ways,such as fetching equipment and lifting and carrying, while CIPHER team found the established Woodlore instructors knowledgeable about first aid and working well as a team to ensure the casualty was treated and evacuated expediently. Ray, observing his team in action, chipped in with his expertise on the subject and how different species of bear will have different attack patterns and some may return and have the first aid team for lunch! It quickly became apparent that the CIPHER team would learn as much as they taught on this course! 

    The team awoke on day two to find a crisp morning outside with ice on their tents and the temperature hovering around -6°C. After a leisurely breakfast of porridge and fruit it was back to the classroom to cover more essential skills that not only bushcraft instructors, but every man, woman and child should learn, such as opening an airway, performing CPR with an automated external defibrillator (AED) and controlling major bleeding. Andy enhanced the teaching of catastrophic haemorrhage by bringing in new equipment for the staff to try and using his experience gained in the extreme environment of Afghanistan where he served as an RAF Paramedic on the Chinook Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT). 


    After another cold start to the final day it seemed apt to discuss thermal illnesses like hypothermia amongst other topics such as choking, anaphylactic shock and basic bandaging skills for those who were relatively new to first aid. Chris also covered poisoning, a daunting subject which Ray has heavily studied, however things like drug and alcohol abuse cross class and national boundaries world-wide, so recognition of these problems is unfortunately essential learning for any first aider. After a short teaching session on snake-bites, Adders are common in the Woodlore area, and for those instructors who could potentially end up on remote expeditions, Ray volunteered to provide an impromptu lecture on the different types of snakes in different continents and areas such as bushland or jungles, the physiology of how the venom leads to serious illness or death and the current treatments available. One of the students also described their near-death experience of being bitten by a snake in their former life in the forces on deployment in a jungle environment. Again, Chris and Andy became students rather than teachers, however using the experience of the group to enhance learning is a valuable educational tool that enriches any course; indeed, Ray took time to demonstrate to Andy the problem of using adhesive dressings in the humidity of the jungle and how they can be adhered using a plant extract.

    The final scenario that Andy and Chris set the group was based on the weekends’ learning and culminated with a multiple casualty incident where one casualty (the SIMBODIES) had been bitten by an adder and Andy, stripped down into T-shirt and shorts, played his running companion who went on to develop hypothermia. The patient in the SIMBODIES scenario developed anaphylactic shock from the bite and progressed into cardiac arrest, thus testing the groups learning of poisoning/snake-bite, anaphylactic shock, CPR and AED defibrillation treatment while other members of the group had to work to treat a conscious but deteriorating hypothermic patient. 

    At the end of the weekend when the CIPHER and Woodlore teams said our goodbyes it was great to note that both teams had learned a lot from the weekend. This type of innovative bespoke teaching is what CIPHER is all about, and the fantastic knowledge we gained from Ray and the team at Woodlore will compliment and augment future courses both back at Woodlore and your company. 

    For more information about CIPHER Medical or Ray Mears and the Woodlore team visit the links below:

    CIPHER Medical Website

    Ray Mears & Woodlore website

  • 18 Jul 2017 1:47 PM | Andy Thomas (Administrator)

    (Above close up image of realistic features)

    CIPHER Medical are please to announce that with have joined with the fantastic team at Trauma FX as UK and Ireland distributors of a wide simulation product range including #SIMBODIES and #SIMSLEEVES.  Contact us at for more information.

    We are extremely excited to be working with our new partners who have created this unique and original range of products which include the ultra life like SIMBODIES.  These hand crafted SIMBODIES provide a realism to training which is unrivalled and have been developed from many years of experience designing these unique products.

    The SIMBODIES Product range is ideal for your training needs and have been well proven in recent years including in resuscitation, trauma and military training.

    (Above military medical arrest training scenario)

    With a standard range of products from baby to adult and a service which provides a bespoke SIMBODIES solution these fantastic simulation aids will provide you with the education component allowing you to take your training to the next level, whilst improving fidelity to make realistic and challenging scenarios.

     (Above image shows police medics dealing with trauma SIMBODIES)

     For more information on this fantastic range of products or to request a demonstration for your organisation, university or training school both within the private sector and NHS email the team at

    The future of simulation is here and its time to use this unique range of original products to maximise clinical and healthcare training in all environments.

  • 7 Feb 2017 9:20 PM | Andy Thomas (Administrator)


    Welcome to the first blog post by the team at CIPHER Medical.  The aim of this blog is to give you a little understanding about who and what we are.  My name is Andy Thomas and I am the founder and managing director of CIPHER Medical.  My background is as a paramedic with 18 years military experience in the Royal Air Force.  I left the MOD a little over 12 months ago and started CIPHER Medical.  I work clinical on the Critical Care Ambulance Response Unit (CCARU) with the North-East Ambulance.  In addition, I chair the Paramedic Advisory Group for the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.  I have various other roles including chairing the regional BASICS scheme within the north east and I hope I can use my experience and that of others to bring you some exciting blogs, #medsnippets and other free clinical educations materials through the CIPHER Education Zone.


    CIPHER Medical is a company and it does operate for profit.  I aim to keep the education zone aspect of the website an area free from business priorities and just have it as an area that reflects my passion for quality pre-hospital care.


    The aim of this education zone is to provide a medical education area with various resources.  This will include but not be limited to the following:

    Blog posts – From both myself and various key figures within pre-hospital care to provide you with various information and clinical developments.

    #Medsnippets – This will be short educational videos that will last below 10 minutes in duration.  The aim of this is to allow people to engage with educational material, not be bogged down in long learning and in effect give you education in small bit size snippets.  The content will be various and our first episode will be teaching CPR to kids.  We had great fun recording this and we will be releasing this toward the end of February:

    Webinars – We will produce educational webinars that people can watch live or watch recordings later.  Again this will have a range of speakers and topics.  We will work with our partners at CPDme to bring these webinars and would welcome anyone who wishes to conduct a webinar to give us a shout.

    I will be conducting the first webinar on Pitcrew resuscitation and you can book on for free via this link Webinars.

    Product Review – Medical progress cannot be made without innovation, research and development by the companies involved in medical kit and equipment.  Not all products end up having a place but our aim is to review products and give some feedback on what we think.  Again this will involve various bits of kit and our reviews may take on various formats.


    So our aims, disclosures and education vision is above for the CIPHER Education Zone We welcome other people who have something to share through our blog, #medsnippets, webinars or even product review.

    We aim to engage in none traditional formats, embrace social media and contect both within the UK and globally.  Where we have any commercial interest this will be declared.  But we will still form our honest clinical beliefs.

    We hope people will join us on our journey and we aim for the CIPHER Education Zone to give something back.

    Please follow us on our various social media channels as listed below or contact me directly at


    Twitter: @CIPHERMC

    Facebook: @CIPHERMedical


    Andy Thomas

    Twitter: @andythomas135


CIPHER Medical Consultancy Limited is a UK based company which aims to provide innovative and cost effective solutions to your health care needs and problems. © Copyright 2017 - CIPHER Medical Consultancy Ltd - Company Number: 09765797 - Terms and Conditions apply - All Rights Reserved