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Engineering Design Centre


University Assistant Professor in Healthcare Systems (University of Cambridge) 

Consultant Anaesthetist (Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)


Research groups: Health Systems Design
Interests: Global health, perioperative medicine, systems engineering, neurotrauma
Email: tb508@


  • PhD Engineering: A Systems Approach to Global Health. University of Cambridge, 2021
  • FRCA Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, 2014
  • MRCP Member of the Royal College of Physicians, 2010
  • MBBS Clinical Medicine. St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London, 2007
  • MBiochem (Hons) Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. University of Oxford, 2002

Tom's principal academic interest is in developing a systems understanding of interventions to improve peri-operative care in low income settings, working closely with the NIHR Global Health Research Group on Neurotrauma.  His introduction to global health came working with VSO in Ethiopia between 2011-2012, during which time he closely worked with Lifebox Foundation. He has worked in Myanmar with the Cambridge-Yangon Trauma Intervention Project since 2013, and the Uganda Cambridge Partnership since 2020.


ORCiD: 0000-0003-0228-9779

Public engagement

2021 Healthcare systems: the future of global health Essay for the Coalition for Global Prosperity as part of the collection: The Future of Aid, Development in the 2020s. Published at Westminster Abbey, September 2021.

2021 Five Questions with…Dr Tom Bashford
Interview with THET exploring why expanding access to surgical care is so important, how we can ensure progress made towards health equity is not lost due to Covid-19, and what more needs to be done in this International Year of Health and Care Workers to ensure their voices remain heard.(

2021 Trauma care in Myanmar: the bigger picture
Interviewed for the ‘Anaesthesia Compass’ podcast exploring different aspects of global anaesthesia (

2019 Partnership, collaboration, and working toward shared goals
Blog for THET exploring issues around collaboration within international health partnerships.

2016 ‘The Checklist Effect’
Interviewed for Lifebox film detailing international efforts to implement the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist

2012 ‘Into Thin Air’
BMJ Blog in support of Lifebox BMJ Christmas Appeal 2012

2012 ‘Road to Safer Surgery’, Yekatit 12 Hospital, Addis Ababa
Produced in association with the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Ethiopia

2012 ‘How to Implement the Safe Surgery Checklist’, Yekatit 12 Hospital, Addis Ababa
Produced in association with the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Ethiopia

2012 Voluntary Service Overseas: Anaesthesia in Ethiopia
A video detailing some of the work of this placement can be found at:

Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy