Dr Walter Busuttil MBChB MPhil MRCGP FRCPsych RAF (Retd) qualified in Medicine in Manchester in 1983. He joined the Royal Air Force as a medical student cadet and served for 16 years qualifying as a principal in general practice in 1989 and consultant psychiatrist in 1994 serving in the United Kingdom and Germany and on operational tours. He was part of the team that rehabilitated the British Beirut Hostages and was instrumental in setting up rehabilitation services for personnel returning from Gulf War I in 1991 with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He retired from the Royal Air Force in 1997.
For the next 10 years he then worked treating retired uniformed service personnel and veterans. He also set up tertiary general adult and forensic psychiatric rehabilitation programmes for adult survivors of sexual abuse suffering from Complex PTSD. He was medical director for a women’s Medium Secure Hospital the Dene part of Partnerships-in-Care for three years.
He was appointed Director of Medical Services to Combat Stress the National Charity that provides mental health care to Veterans in 2007. He has led the setting of up veterans’ mental health residential, outreach and community clinical services nationally expanding the clinical capability of Combat Stress as well as campaigning for and encouraging statutory NHS services to be set up for Veterans’ mental health. In 2014 he set up a research department at Combat Stress in collaboration with the Kings College Centre for Mental Health Research. This research group has investigated veterans’ mental health needs and evaluated treatment outcome and developed clinical services based on translational research. Walter was the Chair of the UK Trauma Group for five years until 2013 and a founder Board Member of the UK Psychological Trauma Society until 2013. He has been a member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies since 1992.
Since 2015 he has regularly taken part in strategic international round table discussions with other clinical and academic colleagues in the field of PTSD. He has been a member of the Five Eyes Mental Health Research Collaborative which advises the Veterans’ ministers of the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand on initial interventions post critical incidents and disasters, combat and mental health rehabilitation in serving personnel and veterans’ treatment interventions. While remaining a clinician first and foremost, he has published and lectured extensively about the prevention and rehabilitation of chronic and complex presentations of PTSD.