London, 10 October 2016: The David Nott Foundation is honoured to announce that The Rt. Hon. the Baroness D’Souza CMG has agreed to become Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Baroness D’Souza said: ‘The anguish we all feel about the plight of those caught in war zones is in part eased by knowing that the David Nott Foundation is there to carry out its pioneering work. Long may it continue.’

Baroness D’Souza was elected by Lords members as the second Lord Speaker on 18 July 2011 and took office on 1 September 2011, serving until the conclusion of her term in August 2016. As Lord Speaker she attended and spoke at ceremonial occasions on behalf of the House of Lords and met visiting dignitaries and heads of state.

David Nott commented: ‘From the start, Baroness D’Souza has been an invaluable source of encouragement and guidance to our Foundation.  She has provided the most wonderful support to Elly and I for which we are so grateful and we are just so thrilled that she has agreed to be Chairman of the Trustees.  We are growing so rapidly in our activities and she will bring vitally important experience, energy and drive to the Board as we expand and further professionalise our operations.’

Baroness D’Souza becomes Chairman of the Trustees at an exciting time for the Foundation as it expands its activities and programmes.  The past six months have seen a huge increase in demand for the training the Foundation provides under David’s leadership.  Activities have included:

  • The inaugural David Nott Foundation Hostile Environment Surgical Training (HEST) course, held in Gaziantep, Turkey, in April.32 Syrian surgeons travelled from Homs, Hama, Idlib and Aleppo to attend.
  • The second HEST course was held in Aden, Yemen, at the invitation of MédecinsSans Frontières in July and trained 43 local surgeons.
  • 2016 will see two further HEST courses; in Gaziantep again for Syrian surgeons and in Gaza in December at the invitation of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
  • Our first three David Nott Foundation scholars were trained by David on the course he directs at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Surgical Training for the Austere Environment (STAE), in July.We trained two Libyan surgeons and one Syrian.
  • The Foundation is in discussions to develop a state of the art simulation model which will be a teaching aid on the HEST course.
  • The Foundation is in talks with technology developers to design an app that will serve as a resource for doctors and also a way for the community of humanitarian surgeons trained by David Nott to share experiences and advice.
  • In September, David Nott directed a life-saving operation to a team of 6 surgeons in Aleppo using Skype and What’s App; the first known incidence of the technology being used in this way.
  • The Foundation, led by David Nott, has spoken out passionately and frequently against the targeting of medical facilities and civilians in Syria’s civil war and advocated for humanitarian access to besieged and heavily-bombed areas.


Notes to editors

For further information contact Suvi Dogra: [email protected] or +44(0)7920 135796.

About The Rt Hon The Baroness D’Souza CMG

Baroness D’Souza was elected by Lords members as the second Lord Speaker on 18 July 2011 and took office on 1 September 2011, serving until the conclusion of her term in August 2016.  She was appointed Chairman of the Trustees of the David Nott Foundation in September 2016. She succeeded Baroness Hayman, the first elected Lord Speaker. She took her place on the Woolsack to oversee work in the Lords chamber on 5 September 2011. She entered the House of Lords in 2004.

Political career

Before taking up the post of Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza was Convenor of the Crossbench Peers (2007-11). As Convenor, Baroness D’Souza was a member of the following committees: Administration and Works CommitteeLiaison CommitteePrivileges and Conduct CommitteeSelection CommitteeProcedure Committee and House Committee. She was also previously a member of European Union Sub-Committee F.

Human rights and development work

Baroness D’Souza has a special interest in human rights and development issues. She was a director and consultant for the REDRESS Trust (director 2003-04, consultant 2004-06), executive director of Article 19 (1989-98) and trustee at a range of human rights and development organisations. In her previous career, Baroness D’Souza lived and worked in southern Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Research work

Baroness D’Souza was director of an independent research group focusing on development and emergency aid and has researched the economic origins and alleviation of famine.

She was an independent research consultant for the UN from 1985 to 1988. She also worked for the Nuffield Institute of Comparative Medicine (1973-77) and Oxford Brookes University (1977-80).

Academic background

Baroness D’Souza studied Anthropology at University College London. After graduating in 1970, she studied for her Doctor of Philosophy at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. She taught anthropology at both the London School of Economics (1973-80) and Oxford Brookes University (1977-80)

About David Nott OBE FRCS

David has been a Consultant Surgeon at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for 23 years where he specialises in general surgery.  David also performs vascular and trauma surgery at St Mary’s Hospital and cancer surgery at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

For the past twenty three years David has taken unpaid leave each year to work for the aid agencies Médecins Sans Frontières, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Syria Relief. He has provided surgical treatment to the victims of conflict and catastrophe in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Chad, Darfur, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Central African Republic, Gaza and Nepal.

As well as treating victims of conflict and catastrophe and raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charitable causes, David teaches advanced surgical skills to local medics and surgeons when he is abroad. In London, he teaches the Surgical Training for the Austere Environment (STAE) course at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

In 2015 David established the David Nott Foundation with his wife Elly. The Foundation supports surgeons in developing their operating skills for warzones and austere environments.

About The David Nott Foundation

The David Nott Foundation is a UK registered charity which provides surgeons and medical professionals with the skills they need to provide relief and assistance in conflict and natural disaster zones around the world.  As well as providing the best medical care, David Nott Foundation surgeons train local healthcare professionals; leaving a legacy of education and improved health outcomes.

Founded and led by renowned British surgeon David Nott, the Foundation benefits from his passion for advancing the best in surgical research, practice and teaching as well as his commitment to helping vulnerable people in some of the most dangerous and disadvantaged places in the world.

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