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  1. Roz Gittins

    21 April 2023 by viadmn

    MRPharmS (Hons) MSc CertPsychPharm MCMHP IP

    As a registered pharmacist, Roz has worked in senior leadership roles for several years. Before moving to the third sector, she worked in mental health and acute NHS secondary care settings, and regularly locumed in community pharmacy.

    Roz is also the president of the International College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP) and a credentialed CMHP member.

    As a senior-accredited Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) trainer for their drug and alcohol Certificates, she currently leads the part 1 drugs course. She has experience of providing teaching and training for a variety of audiences and for several organisations. Roz is an expert mentor for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and provides expert advisory work for many organisations including NICE and the BBC.

    She is a member of several committees including Drug Science’s Scientific Committee and the Medicines, Ethics and Practice Advisory Panel. She is an active researcher and has contributed to online resources, national publications, and textbook chapters.

    Roz has won numerous prizes for her research and innovation work and is currently completing a doctorate focusing on the misuse of over the counter and prescription medication.

  2. Benedicta Xulu

    by viadmn

    Benedicta qualified as a registered mental health and general nurse in 1995 and has worked in the substance misuse field since 2002.

    She went on to study for a MSc in Clinical and Public Aspects of Addiction at King’s College, London; an MBA in Health Services Management; and later qualified as a non-medical prescriber. She also completed a Top Manager Programme at the King’s Fund.

    She has worked as a nurse manager in various organisations, both custodial settings and in the community until joining Via as a Chief Nurse in 2018.

    She was responsible for establishing pathways to eliminate hepatitis C at Via and led on the organisation’s first Hep C project.

    Benedicta works closely with our central clinical team to ensure that our services have robust clinical processes and governance in place to operate safely and effectively. She also provides clinical leadership to nursing staff across the organisation.

  3. Dr Arun Dhandayudham

    by viadmn

    MBBS, MRCPsych, CCT (Addictions Psychiatry), PgDip (Mental Health Law), PgCert (Med Ed), MBA (Henley Business School), MFMLM

    Arun has been a Consultant in Addictions Psychiatry for over 17 years in both the NHS and the third sector.

    He trained in Psychiatry at Oxford and Cambridge before becoming Clinical Director of the NHS addiction services across Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire.

    He joined Via as Medical Director in January 2015.

    A keen interest in management led to an MBA at Henley Business School and membership of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.

    Arun has extensive experience of setting up and running community and inpatient drug and alcohol treatment services, prison substance misuse services and dual diagnosis services.

    His research interests include pain management, online shopping addiction and chronic arousal states such as anxiety and their impact on addictions treatment as well as the potential of psychedelics to transform addictions and mental healthcare.

    Arun is also a specialist inspector for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and supports the London Drug Commission set up by the London Mayor’s office to review cannabis regulations.

  4. Dr Yasir Abbasi

    by viadmn

    MBBS, PG cert, PG Dip, EDPM, CCT (Addiction Psychiatry), FRCPsych

    Alongside Dr Arun Dhandayudham, Dr Yasir Abbasi is Via’s Executive Medical Director as well as being as the clinical lead for Via’s services in the North-West of England.

    For more than a decade of being a consultant psychiatrist, Dr Abbasi has contributed towards the development of addiction services in the UK and United Arab Emirates (UAE), academia, and increased awareness about mental health and addiction.

    Prior to joining Via, Dr Abbasi was the director of addiction services at Maudsley Health in Dubai, UAE for three years. He delivered services in the country’s largest mental health facility at Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital and developed the addiction department, introducing one of the first community opioid substitute treatment services in the region.

    Before his departure to Dubai, he was the clinical director of addiction services at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

    Dr Abbasi also set up the Painkiller Addiction Information Network (PAIN) charity in 2016 which was the only charity at that time raising awareness about painkiller addiction and supported the government to order a review into it. There was a Public Health England (PHE) review in 2019 and he was a part of the expert reference group.

    He is associated with over 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has spoken widely at various national and international scientific conferences across the world. He also presented his views about addiction treatment on various media outlets such TV, radio, and newspapers.