Surgeon David Nott divides his time between consulting on Lower Sloane Street and training doctors in disaster zones.
From Syria to Afghanistan, David Nott has visited a plethora of war zones and natural disasters over the past 25 years.
After years taking unpaid leave to volunteer in crisis-torn areas, he decided to set up the David Nott Foundation in July 2015 with his wife Elly.
He wanted to share his knowledge and expertise, built up over the years, with local doctors.
“In London, there are dozens of excellent surgeons,” he says.
“When abroad, you may be the only surgeon looking after hundreds of patients and you need to be able to treat the patient no matter what their injury, even if it isn’t your speciality.”
The foundation equips doctors with the techniques to manage whatever case they are presented with.
Crucially, doctors also learn the decision-making skills to know when to operate and when not to.
“We believe in leaving a legacy in the countries in which we work,” he says.
Wars and earthquakes
“By focusing on training doctors working on the ground, this knowledge stays in the country and is shared with others,” he explains.
David has volunteered in wars in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Darfur, Congo, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Gaza and Syria.
He has also worked in areas affected by natural disasters, such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal.
“Of all the countries I have worked in, Syria has had the greatest impact and I have made friendships there that will last a lifetime,” he says.
Trauma work in London
In the UK, David works as a general and vascular surgeon in the NHS.
He deals with everything from “the worst of London’s trauma injuries” to much more routine procedures.
He works at three London hospitals, including the Chelsea and Westminster, and his consulting rooms are on Lower Sloane Street.
“It’s an incredible feeling to be able to make the right diagnosis for a patient and give them treatment that improves their life dramatically.
“To be able to pass those skills on to other doctors to do the same is similarly hugely rewarding,” he says.