The David Nott Foundation office is now closed due to COVID-19 restrictions and our staff are working remotely. Some of our forthcoming surgical training courses have had to be postponed and we continue to support surgeons working in austere environments, globally, using safer alternative means. The best way to contact us is via email on [email protected]

Hostile Environment Surgical Training (HEST)

The David Nott Foundation’s world-leading faculty deploys several times each year to conflict and disaster areas to train local surgeons with its Hostile Environment Surgical Training (HEST) course, targeted at surgeons and doctors to improve their skills in emergency trauma surgery. The settings where HEST is taught often rule out cadaveric teaching so a combination of lectures, videos and discussions with practical exercises including the suturing of prosthetic organs and blood vessels and demonstrations on a bespoke simulator model, is used instead.

Although each course is tailored to the needs and experience of the audience, the normal topics covered over the four days are:

  • Ballistics
  • Primary and secondary survey
  • Damage control
  • Cardio-thoracic trauma
  • Vascular surgery
  • Head and neck trauma
  • Paediatric surgery
  • Abdominal trauma
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Plastic surgery
  • Trauma in obstetrics and gynaecology

The HEST course is accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

To enquire about the Faculty delivering the HEST course near you, or to propose a location for training, please email [email protected]


South America HEST October 2019

We’ve recently returned from running two HEST courses in South America, a first for the David Nott Foundation! Held in Santiago and Córdoba, these back to back courses drew in 52 surgeons from all over the continent, expanding our global network of war doctors and improving the quality of trauma surgery in regions where gunshot […]

Syria HEST July 2019

The team has recently returned from their latest mission to Syria. With 46 airstrikes occurring since April on healthcare facilities, the most dangerous place to be in Idlib is certainly a hospital. With many hospitals now out of action, millions of people have been left without access to healthcare facilities and doctors have been left […]

Meet Heston!

Our newest team member is Heston: a life-sized replica human crafted from silicon. Heston plays a leading role in our overseas training programmes, so far helping us in Yemen and Kenya. Named after our Hostile Environment Surgical Training (HEST) course, Heston’s intensive design and ingenious construction process ensure that his skin, bones and organs feel […]

Kenya HEST April 2019

The Faculty of the David Nott Foundation recently returned from its latest mission to Nakura, Kenya (just a short ride from the capital Nairobi) where it delivered its latest Hostile Environment Surgical Training course.   Graciously hosted by Egerton University and COESCSA, the Faculty delivered training to 24 surgeons and general practitioners over a 4-day […]

Yemen HEST January 2019

The David Nott Foundation ran two HEST courses in Aden, Yemen in January 2019 with the support of Médecins Sans Frontières. These two HEST courses were the first occasion that the Foundation’s whole body simulator was employed for training and supporting it was a suite of individual models of organs, blood vessels and key anatomies […]

HEST in Libya

HEST faculty in Misrata It was the early hours of 4 March when our DNF team touched down at Misrata airport.  David and Ammar were this time joined by Harald Veen, formerly Chief Surgeon of the Red Cross and now a valued addition to our teaching faculty. Over the next three days they taught 55 […]

Yemen HEST July 2016

David Nott Foundation ran a HEST course in Aden, Yemen from 10-12 July, 2016. 43 surgeons from hospitals in Aden, Lahj, Abyan, Lawder and Shabwa attended the three-day war surgery training. David showed the doctors how to treat a variety of complicated war injuries, principally fragmentation and gunshot wounds.  There had been an increase in […]