Abacus Training’s Directors and Lead Trainers have more than 185 years experience in the training and health care industry.

We use this first hand experience, combined with quality teaching to ensure that our course delegates get the very most from each of our courses. This is our passion.

Our Directors

Mike Taylor BSc (Hons) PGCE 

Mike TaylorMike has been training and assessing First Aid since 2003 before which, he completed his degree. He has a wide range of first aid experience, from being in the outdoors to working in a water park. He is a fully qualified teacher, holding a PGCE, he has successfully mentored trainee teachers to complete their PGCEs. Mike has previously held various roles within the leisure industry including those at a management level. He is also a Community First Responder attending 999 calls on behalf of West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Duncan Parsonage SRP

Duncan ParsonageDuncan has worked his way through the ranks in the Ambulance Service over the last 18 years starting off with Patient Transport and finishing up as Community Response Manager for West Midlands Ambulance Service. In his latest role, he was responsible for over 300 CFRs, who were the first CFRs in the UK. They were and still are trained to the highest standard there is for CFRs.

Duncan also developed the first Defib web site to act as a national data base for the UK helping pinpoint where public Defibs are sited. He also developed many protocols which are used throughout the UK with companies like Finning UK, Alstom, JCB, Unilever, The FA and HM Prison Service. He also developed a unique first aid course for the Fire Service that has been running successfully over the last five years within Staffordshire Fire Service, training over 700 firefighters to date.

Lead Trainers

Rob Thomas MBA

Rob has over 20 years senior experience in Healthcare Management and following completion of the NHS Graduate Management training scheme, has held a number of roles in both the for profit and not for profit sectors in the UK and overseas. His non NHS roles include: Hospital Director of the Armed Forces Hospitals Programme, Southern Region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Executive Director in BMI Healthcare, the UK’s largest independent acute healthcare operator and South West Regional General Manager for Atos Origin during the national wave 2 diagnostic programme. Following a return to NHS Wales in 2007, Rob has held some key roles including, Directorate Manager for a surgical directorate, Programme Manager for the transition of an NHS Trust to a new integrated Local Health Board and latterly as a Divisional General Manager for an Acute Division within Cwm Taf Local Health Board. Rob has presented nationally, most notably at the Barbican Centre, London, speaking on the NHS/Independent Sector Concordat.

Paul Wilkins SRP, MSc, CertEd

Paul has held a number of positions in senior management in the NHS including National Lead Paramedic Officer for First Responders and Public Access Defibrillation, Directorate Support Manager for Support Services and Surgery, Directorate Manager for Head & Neck Surgical Services and Directorate Manager for Anaesthetics, Critical Care and Theatres across a large Health Board. After joining the Ambulance Service in 1989, Paul worked operationally as a Paramedic and Senior Paramedic Officer. He sat on the Welsh Assembly Governments Public Access Defibrillation Advisory Board and was instrumental in introducing the principalities first National First Responder Training Programme and National Public Access Defibrillation Programme. Paul has presented internationally, and was an NHS Trust Clinical Governance Reviewer for the Commission for Health Improvement / Healthcare Commission from 1999 to 2003.

Peter Swindells SRP

Peter Swindells

Peter joined Cheshire Ambulance Service in 1977, becoming a Training Officer in 1986, progressing to Training Manager in 1995. In 2006 he moved to become the Training Manager and a High Dependency Paramedic for a private ambulance service. As part of this role, Peter gained Edexcel accreditation to deliver FPOS Basic and FPOS Intermediate courses for the private ambulance staff. He is also registered as a First Aid Trainer under HSE.

Sarah Folley SRP

Sarah FolleySarah has worked her way up from Ambulance cadet to Advanced Paramedic and has been in the Ambulance Service for 16 years. She has held various roles including Community Paramedic Officer and trainer of CFR’s in South Staffordshire in the FPOS Award. She also holds various qualifications including A1 Assessor, Paramedic Mentor Award and IHCD Instructional Methods. She has taught PHPLS and ALS to groups of Doctors, Nurses and Paramedics and is also qualified as a First Contact Practitioner (FCP).


Chris Peters MSc

Chris PetersChris has been a serving Aircraft Technician and then Engineering Officer in the Royal Air Force for the past 38 years, retiring in 2013 with the rank of Squadron Leader. For 12 years, he has been involved in military training as an instructor, course designer and then finally as the senior training manager with responsibility for over 120 instructors. A qualified First Aid and CPR/Defibrillator instructor and examiner, Chris has also been an Enhanced Community First Responder for the West Midlands Ambulance Service since 2006 and attended over 1500 emergency calls.

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