World Orthopaedic Concern

World Orthopaedic Concern

We’re not a deanery but more of a cross-deanery network for people interested in international development work in orthopaedics. The opportunities are vast and the rewards priceless. There are ever more hurdles creeping in the way of enthusiastic trainees these days and working alongside WOC-UK is a really good way of tackling them. There are many trainees who will have dealt with them successfully who will be able to advise you. There are also many eminent surgeons with an extensive catalogue of experiences abroad whom you will be able to network with. More and more, the organization is getting involved in events for trainees. Two of these events, which are now yearly, are the WOC-UK annual conference and the Global Surgical Frontiers.

No TPD of course for WOC-UK.

Chairman is Mr Steve Mannion (Consultant at Blackpool)
Secretary is Ms Deepa Bose (QE Birmingham)

Treasurer is Mr Rajaratnam (Macclesfield)

Event/membership coordinator is Laurence Wicks (Leicester trainee)

Linkman is James Berwin (East of England trainee)


Website address:

No of members- around 400

Growing number of trainees (probably around 25%- but exact figure not certain)

Our projects happen worldwide, depending on where our members are based. Some are coordinated by someone in post, while others received regular visits by the coordinating WOC person.

Currently we have long standing projects in the following places:

Malawi- Steve Mannion

Ethiopia- Rick Gardner

Ghana- Paul Ofori-Atta

Ukraine- Magdi Greiss

Bangladesh- M Laurence/ G Walker

Laos- Steve Mannion

Cambodia- Dalton Boot

Philippines- Louis Deliss

Nepal- M Laurence

WOC supports trainees taking placements abroad and currently has 2 grants worth up to £1500 each.

They are allocated on a competitive basis and information on how to apply is on the website under the “get involved/ fellowship” section.

WOC-UK also has trainee specific lectures aimed towards practicing in resource-challenged environments at its annual events.

WOC-UK has produced a number of publications available to members including guidelines and a pocket book- both accessible from the website.

Once a WOC-UK member, one can continue with yearly membership or can upgrade to life membership.

WOC-UK is not for profit and many people who have once been involved get involved again at a later stage in their careers, including post retirement. Involvement doesn’t require one to travel to anywhere in the world. The complex work of international development needs people based in the UK too. Indeed a lot of the coordination, procurement, networking and logistical/ intellectual support are conducted from individual UK hospitals where our volunteering members are based.

This is country specific and WOC-UK is attempting to put together a guide with relevant information on individual countries where they are based.

WOC-UK works alongside a number of different partners, many of which have their own websites.

A list of those can be found directly in a booklet on our website (get involved/fellowship/ BOTA WOC guidelines).

The direct link to it is:

Surgically treatable conditions account for around 30% of the global burden of disease, with 16.9 million lives lost due to surgical conditions in 2010. In 2014, The Lancet commissioned a landmark report describing the role of surgical and anaesthetic care in improving the health of individuals and economic productivity in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). The report titled, ‘Global Surgery 2030’, had a number of key messages:


1: 5 billion people lack access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthetic care when needed.


2: 143 million additional surgical procedures are needed each year to save lives and prevent disability.


3: 33 million individuals face catastrophic health expenditure due to payment for surgery and anaesthesia each year.


4: Investment in surgical and anaesthesia services is affordable, saves lives and promotes economic growth.


5: Surgery is an indivisible, indispensible part of healthcare.


World Orthopaedic Concern-UK (WOC-UK) aims to help tackle this burden through capacity building in the countries that need it most. We believe that UK trainees have an important role to play in improving the Orthopaedic provision in Low- and Middle income countries, by getting involved in projects happening around the globe today. We provide support for trainees who wish to link up with established overseas centres for the purposes of short and long-term Out Of Programme Experiences (OOPEs).


By enabling trainees to gain Orthopaedic exposure in the developing world, WOC-UK hopes to leave a legacy of passionate and able Consultants who have on-the-job experience of how to build capacity in the form of service provision, as well as teaching and training on a local, regional and even national scale.


For more information on current projects, as well as travel bursaries and scholarships available, see our website or contact James Berwin (BOTA Linkman for WOC-UK).


Pictures below were taken from my trip with Steve Mannion (Chairman of WOC-UK) to the Centre of Medical Rehabilitation in Vientiane, Laos. Despite Laos’ recent economic growth, the provision of Orthopaedic Surgery is poor. The purpose of these visits are to teach and train Orthopaedics to surgeons from around the country, some of whom have no formal Orthopaedic training at all. For this trip, I was awarded a travelling scholarship to help pay for airfare and accommodation. (Top Left: Club Foot in a young child, Top Right: Chronic Polio, Bottom Right: Neglected Club Foot).