The David Nott Foundation is a humanitarian organisation motivated to save the lives of medical victims of conflict and catastrophe. The most powerful way we can do that is by equipping the doctors who care for them with the surgical skills and knowledge they need to make the right choices for their patients and be the best surgeons possible.

There is unfortunate certainty in the enduring occurrence of conflict and natural disaster. Environmental catastrophe and civil unrest are becoming an increasingly inherent part of our global landscape. At the frontline are the doctors and medical professionals who work tirelessly – often against the odds – to help victims and preserve life. Yet in countries where resources are scarce, and access to equipment and training is limited, these doctors are left to face the most challenging of circumstances; ill-equipped and unsupported. The David Nott Foundation was established to change that.

Our Solution

Our vision is of a global network of medical professionals, trained to the highest standards, providing the best care to patients in war and natural disaster zones.

We are the only charity dedicated to teaching surgical skills to local doctors living and working in areas affected by conflict and catastrophe. We travel as close to the frontline as possible to deliver our training, and if this isn’t possible, we bring doctors to the UK for training.

Our Impact

Since it was established in 2015, the David Nott Foundation has trained over 1400 doctors from around the world delivering over 45 courses, benefitting an estimated 2 million patients worldwide.

Our legacy remains long after our courses come to an end through the improved healthcare, knowledge and confidence of whole communities.

The funds from the Syncona Foundation have enabled the recruitment of an Operations Director and Development Officer to grow the reach and impact of the Foundation’s training.

Our future plans

  • To amplify our reach by increasing the number of overseas training programmes that we deliver. On each course, we teach 24-30 doctors at an average cost of £1,000 per doctor.
  • To continue to deliver two courses a year in the UK for 28 doctors from around the world. It costs £5,000 for each doctor we train, and £70,000 for each course we run.
  • To use cutting edge specialist medical equipment and embrace the latest technology in order to deliver the best possible training.


In 2019, we trained Dr Samah on an overseas training course in Yemen. She is probably the only female surgeon left in Aden. Last year, she was able to apply the skills developed on this course in a life-threatening situation carrying out an emergency surgical airway procedure to create a clear airway in a technique that is only performed as a last resort when intubation is impossible.

“I saved his life; it was great what I felt at that moment. It’s all thanks to Dr David and his Foundation.”

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David Nott Foundation