Honour for surgeon who’s operated on thousands in warzones
- David Nott is a prominent trauma surgeon, with over 20 years of experience of working in conflict areas
- Most recently, David has worked in frontline hospitals across a large area of northern Syria
A medical graduate who has spent more than 20 years treating thousands of victims of conflict around the world has been given an Outstanding Alumnus award by The University of Manchester.
David Nott is a prominent trauma surgeon, with over 20 years of experience of working in conflict areas including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chad, Darfur, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gaza, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, with organisations including Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross, taking unpaid leave from his job as Consultant Surgeon at Chelsea and Westminster hospital for up to six weeks each year to carry out this work.
He graduated from The University of Manchester in 1981 and was appointed as a consultant surgeon in 1992.
During his career David has helped thousands of wounded civilians and his considerable experience in reconstructive surgery has enabled him to offer his patients the chance to lead normal lives. He has recounted horrific tales of operating on children and pregnant women with terrible injuries whilst also under fire and without access to basic drugs and equipment.
Most recently, David has worked in frontline hospitals across a large area of northern Syria, operating on patients severely injured by air strikes, barrel bombs and sniper fire. During his first trip to Syria alone, David performed over 160 life-saving and reconstructive operations.
David has done much to raise the profile of the situation in Syria, appearing on BBC television and radio, and in a Channel 4 documentary. He has also spent time teaching and training Syrian surgeons, giving presentations and demonstrations on innovative, life-saving conflict-zone surgery techniques and actively training dozens of surgeons. He has pioneered an intensive training course (funded by the Department for International Development) alongside the Royal College of Surgeons, to equip doctors with the skills needed in war zones. As a result there is now a register of medics willing to be deployed.
David received the Humanitarian of the Year award in the Arab Business awards, and has an OBE. In 2015 David established the David Nott Foundation with his wife Elly. The Foundation will support surgeons to develop their operating skills for warzones and austere environments.
He was nominated for the award, which was given on Friday 18 December, by Professor of International Emergency Medicine at The University of Manchester, Tony Redmond.
David said: “It’s great to come back to Manchester as I’m aware of the work which goes on at the University in responding to humanitarian disasters and promoting research into resolving global conflict.
“There is an urgent need for more surgeons to work in conflict zones and for better training and resources for those who do so. I hope that by talking about my experiences, I can help to bring that about.”
It’s great to come back to Manchester as I’m aware of the work which goes on at the University in responding to humanitarian disasters and promoting research into resolving global conflict.