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I studied medicine at the University of Oxford, and subsequently trained in anaesthesia in Birmingham and Oxford. I now practise as an NHS consultant at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, with roles in education and simulation, and mentoring new consultants. Throughout my training and consultant career I have maintained a strong interest in the provision of safe anaesthesia in low-income settings, and have been involved in several clinical and training projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Most recently I have contributed to nurse anaesthetist training in Kenya (2014, 2015) and provided clinical services to enable leave in rural Zambia (2010-2015). I am currently undertaking an MSc in Global Health (focus on Global Surgery) at King's College, London.

Hilary Edgcombe

BM, BCh (Oxon), FRCA (Lon)

Consultant Anaesthetist

Research and training in global anaesthesia


  • Director of the "Anaesthesia in Developing Countries" course, Oxford/Uganda
  • Development and evaluation of a smartphone-based teaching tool for the low-income setting, as part of the LIFE project
  • Promotion of best practice in collaboration between clinicians from high-income and low-income settings

Safe anaesthesia is a clear prerequisite for safe surgery worldwide. Billions worldwide remain unable to access life-saving operations: an important contributor to this problem is a lack of reliable anaesthetic services.

With a view to increasing capacity for workforce training and development, as part of the LIFE project group (with researchers from Kenya, the Centre for Tropical Medicine and the Department of Education in Oxford), we are developing a novel smartphone-based training app, using principles of gameplay, in order to test its effectiveness for learning resuscitation algorithms. Early usability testing in Oxford will be followed by more detailed mixed-methods study into learning outcomes and potential expansion of the tool's scope.

I am also privileged to direct the long-established Anaesthesia in Developing Countries course, held in Uganda, which aims to equip anaesthetists who have trained in a high-income country to work effectively and safely in a low-resource setting. Faculty are drawn from the UK, US, Zambia, Uganda and Kenya to teach delegates from Europe, Canada and Australia on an annual basis.We aim to learn and promote best practice in international collaboration, ultimately to increase patients' access to safe surgery worldwide.

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