David Nott

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

David Nott
David Nott addressing the Keep Her Safe conference in 2013.jpg
Addressing the "Keep Her Safe" conference, November 2013
Born David Malcolm Nott
1956 (age 61–62)
Carmarthen, Wales
Education Hulme Grammar School, University of St Andrews, University of Manchester
Known for Working as a volunteer surgeon in war zones
Medical career
Profession Surgeon
Institutions Charing Cross; Chelsea and Westminster; St Mary's; Royal Marsden
Specialism General surgery, vascular surgery
Notable prizes Robert Burns Humanitarian Award (2016)

David Malcolm Nott OBE OStJ FRCS (born 1956) is a Welsh consultant surgeon who works mainly in London hospitals as a general and vascular surgeon, but also volunteers to work in disaster and war zones and also organises training for others in this emergency work. He has been honoured for this dangerous work and is now often styled the "Indiana Jones of surgery".[1][2]

Education and family[edit]

Nott was born in Carmarthen in 1956 and lived with his grandparents at Trelech, near Carmarthen, until the age of four.[3] He then lived in the Midlands and Rochdale from where he attended Hulme Grammar School.[4][5] His father, Malcolm George Nott,[6] was an orthopaedic and trauma surgeon, specialising in hip replacement, and was born in Burma and educated in Madras, India. Malcolm Nott was half-Indian and half-Burmese.[4] Nott's mother, born Yvonne Jones, was a nurse from Wales.[4][7] Malcolm Nott's father encouraged his son to follow him into a medical career.,[7][8] and also inspired his son's war work by taking him to see the 1984 film The Killing Fields.[8]

Nott was not successful at school initially but, after resitting his A-levels, he studied medicine at the Universities of St. Andrews and Manchester, graduating in 1981.[4]

As a child, often left on his own, Nott was fascinated with building model aircraft and later learned to fly, gaining both a private pilot licence and a commercial pilot licence. He became an air transport pilot and flew for Hamlin Jet in Luton for about ten years, before returning to medicine and becoming a surgeon.[3][9]


During his medical training in Manchester and Liverpool, he was attracted to surgery.[4] He took a special interest in vascular surgery after watching a Liverpool surgeon, Peter Harris, save someone by operating on their ruptured aortic aneurysm.[4] He combined this with general surgery, practising at London hospitals including Charing Cross, Chelsea and Westminster, St Mary's and the Royal Marsden.[4] As a vascular surgeon, he specialises in keyhole techniques, especially for repairs of abdominal aortic aneurysms, and distal arterial bypasses.[9][10] In 1999, he was the first surgeon in the world to perform a femoral-popliteal bypass using only laparoscopic techniques.[9] His other work includes appendectomies; hernia repairs; removal of lipomas and haemorrhoids; and treatment of varicose veins using ligation or sclerotherapy.[9]

He began working in disaster and war zones in 1993, when he saw footage of the war in Sarajevo. He has worked in disaster and war zones for several weeks each year since then, working as a volunteer surgeon for agencies such as Médecins Sans Frontières and the Red Cross. He has also served in a similar capacity for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, where he holds the rank of wing commander.[11] The locations have included Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chad, Darfur, Gaza, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Sierra Leone and opposition-held areas of Syria.[4][8] Between 2013 and 2014 Nott trained and assisted medical students and other doctors to conduct trauma surgeries in opposition-held East Aleppo.[12]

Honours and awards[edit]

Nott was admitted as a fellow to the Royal College of Surgeons in 1989. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2012 Birthday Honours. In 2016 he received the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award and the Pride of Britain Award. He received honorary degree from the University of Salford in 2015[13] and from the University of St Andrews in 2017.[14]

Personal life[edit]

In 2015, Nott married Eleanor Jupp, and their daughter, Molly, was born in the same year.[2][15] Eleanor, known as "Elly", was formerly an analyst with The Institute of Strategic Studies and now runs the David Nott Foundation – a charity which finances and organises training in disaster medicine.[2][15]

In 2014, he had lunch with the Queen.[8][11] When he found it difficult to speak about his traumatic experiences, she put him at ease by inviting him to take twenty minutes (and some dog biscuits) to befriend her corgis.[16]

In 2016, Nott was a guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs: his music choices included "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones' and "Fix You" by Coldplay, his favourite being "Good Golly, Miss Molly" by Little Richard. His book choice was Kallimni Arabi Mazboot, to help him learn Arabic.[3]

In 2016, Nott spoke of his Christian faith on the BBC1 Victoria Derbyshire Show.[17] BBC1 Victoria Derbyshire Show – at archive.org.[18]


  • Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine: A Practical Guide, Springer, 2014, ISBN 9781447129271


  1. ^ "David Nott: Drawn to the sound of gunfire". British Medical Journal. 12 March 2014. p. 348. doi:10.1136/bmj.g2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Surgery's Indiana Jones finally gets the girl", The Times, 28 March 2015
  3. ^ a b c "BBC Radio 4 – Desert Island Discs, David Nott". BBC. 5 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Newton, Charlotte (April 2015). "Interview: David Nott". Bulletin. Royal College of Surgeons. pp. 166–169. doi:10.1308/147363515X14134529302902.
  5. ^ "Index entry: Nott, David M." Transcription of Birth and death registration for England and Wales. ONS. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Nott, Malcome George". Royal College of Surgeons. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Surgeon carries out op by phone". Manchester Evening News. 19 April 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d Elizabeth Grice (29 January 2015). "'There is a buzz to cheating death', says war zone surgeon David Nott". The Daily Telegraph.
  9. ^ a b c d "Mr David Nott, Consultant General Surgeon". BUPA. 2016.
  10. ^ "Mr David M Nott OBE OStJ DMCC BSc MD FRCS". Lister Hospital.
  11. ^ a b "Queen's 2012 Birthday Honours for Service personnel and Defence civilians". Ministry of Defence. 16 June 2012.
  12. ^ Taub, Ben (27 June 2016). "Syria's War on Doctors". The New Yorker. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  13. ^ Dobson, Charlotte (15 July 2015). "Courteeners frontman Liam Fray dons cap and gown at Salford University". Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  14. ^ Clark, Leeza (20 June 2017). "Python heads honorary degree list". The Courier. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  15. ^ a b Charlie Cooper (24 January 2016). "David Nott interview: War surgeon reveals how healthcare workers are being 'systematically' targeted in Syria". The Independent.
  16. ^ "Surgeon David Nott recalls how Queen's corgis helped him". BBC. 5 June 2016.
  17. ^ Victoria Derbyshire Show at 10:05 on 1 November 2016.
  18. ^ [1] BBC1 Victoria Derbyshire Show – at archive.org

External links[edit]