Hostile Environment Surgical Training (HEST-UK)

Sunday 1 December - Thu 5 December 2024 | Edinburgh - RCSEd

HEST-UK December course is fully booked. To join the waiting list, please email


HEST-UK 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, orthopedic fractures, and obstetric emergencies.

The course celebrates a new era of partnership between the David Nott Foundation and the Faculty of Remote, Rural & Humanitarian Healthcare (FRRHH), leveraging the extensive frontline experience of Professor David Nott, Co-Founder of the David Nott Foundation, and his faculty of surgical trainers to impart essential trauma surgery skills to medical professionals. Both organisations are champions of humanitarian healthcare and this exciting partnership adds to the already successful FRRHH Introduction to Humanitarian Healthcare course launched in 2021. 

Course format

A five-day intensive cadaveric-based course including:

  • Practical demonstrations
  • Interactive case scenarios
  • Hands-on cadaveric workshops
  • Lectures

Who is the Course for?

The HEST-UK course is designed for medical professionals who work in, or are planning to travel to, conflict and catastrophe zones around the world. This course will equip doctors with the skills they need to handle common medical situations arising in challenging environments, including how to handle triage decisions and perform a range of emergency surgical procedures.

In post-training surveys, 100% of the respondents answered positively when asked ‘do you feel as though this course has equipped you with the skills, knowledge and confidence that will enable you to work effectively when working in environments of conflict and catastrophe?’ Over 95% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the teaching sessions were well structured and presented. Several participants shared that the sessions on triage and damage control were especially valuable.

“It was brilliant to have trainers leading the course who have real-life experience of working in environments of conflict and catastrophe, and how their experiences informed their teaching and training.”

June 2024 Highlights

 Photography credit: Sally Taylor Photography

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