NHS Fife Consultant to Take Up WHO Role
Published: Monday 17 Jun 2019
Alex Baldacchino (centre) with members of the Addiction Services team.
NHS Fife Consultant Psychiatrist in Addictions, Alex Baldacchino, has been invited to work with the World Health Organisation (WHO), leading the development of a new substance misuse programme in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
Professor Baldacchino, who is also Director of Research and Development, has played an instrumental role in setting up the Fife Addictions Service which supports people with alcohol and drug problems.
Over the last 20 years the service has expanded rapidly, growing from four members of staff to over 70, and providing a range of support from harm reduction advice, to group work, detox programmes and interventions to encourage behaviour change.
Professor Baldacchino has also been involved in a range of academic and clinical work with the University of Dundee and is also Professor in Medicine and Psychiatry at St Andrews University.
His new role will take him to the Eastern Mediterranean Region base in Cairo, where he will act as an international regional advisor, guiding and facilitating the delivery of the new WHO programme.
Working with 22 member states spanning from Morocco to Pakistan, Turkey to Sudan, the programme will support Governments to set up a national intervention service including treatment, harm reduction and rehabilitation for people with substance misuse problems.
Professor Baldacchino said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to lead the development of this new programme.
“This is an exciting opportunity to play an important role at the start of what will be a five-year programme across a wide region.
“As much as it is prestigious for NHS Fife to have one of their clinicians work with the United Nations, I also hope to bring back a variety of learning which can be used to further improve the Addictions Service here in Fife.”
Dr Chris McKenna, NHS Fife Medical Director, said: “This is a prominent role within a project which has the potential to make a significant difference to hundreds of thousands of people.
“Alex has played a key role in developing substance misuse support here in Fife and his knowledge, clinical, academic and leadership skills will be invaluable in supporting this new WHO programme.”
Professor Baldacchino will begin his secondment in July, returning to Fife in 2020.