Joining forces with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh to deliver our HEST-UK course

In a landmark collaboration aimed at addressing the critical shortage of skilled surgical care in conflict and disaster zones, we are teaming up with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) – home to The Faculty of Remote, Rural & Humanitarian Healthcare (FRRHH) – to deliver our Hostile Environment Surgical Training UK (HEST-UK) course.

Taking place from 3 -7 June at RCSEd Edinburgh, the course celebrates a new era of partnership. Our HEST-UK course offers surgeons a unique opportunity to enhance their capabilities and readiness for humanitarian crises. Over the course of five days, participants will delve into decision-making and surgical strategies for austere conditions, covering a spectrum of trauma cases including penetrating and crush injuries, orthopaedic fractures, and obstetric emergencies.

Rapid response

Responding to the escalation of the Gaza-Israel conflict in October, two previous HEST-UK courses were swiftly organised in Bolton in December 2023 and January 2024. Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Iman Al Mabhooh, expressed his enthusiasm at the opportunity:

“I’m excited about expanding my skill set beyond obstetrics and gynaecology to acquire new abilities that will benefit mothers and their infants in Gaza and the West Bank. I recognise the desperate need for assistance there. This course is unique as it combines obstetrics and gynaecology with trauma care and address complex challenges comprehensively.”

Nick Cartwright, Programmes Manager at our Foundation, said: “Since the DNF’s beginnings in 2015, our team of experienced surgical trainers have upskilled over 1800 doctors and delivered 61 courses in some of the world’s most dangerous corners, including Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine and Ukraine.

With the delivery of our HEST-UK course in partnership with RCSEd, we will grow the number of upskilled, humanitarian surgeons who are ready to volunteer their skills, make rapid and effective clinical decisions under pressure, and manage the broad range of complex trauma injuries that present in the throes of conflict and catastrophe.”

A significant step forward

Angus Watson, FRRHH Executive Committee Member, said:

“By combining the DNF’s expertise with RCSEd’s dedication to recognise professional standards in humanitarian healthcare, this partnership promises to empower medical professionals and save countless lives in the face of adversity.”

The Faculty’s commitment to supporting surgeons is exemplified by its decision to grant participants of the course a complimentary one-year affiliation membership to the Faculty of Remote, Rural, and Humanitarian Healthcare. This membership provides an invaluable opportunity to connect with a broader humanitarian community within a professional setting tailored for humanitarian, remote, and rural healthcare professionals.

Spaces on the course are limited and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.