Today, the first National Health Service (NHS) gambling clinic outside London, is set to open doors in Leeds. According to reports, there are currently over 10,000 gambling addicts in the city.
The results of a recent survey have shown that problem gambling “costs” the UK one life on a daily basis. Hopefully, new plans for dealing with a large number of gambling addicts will help the authorities tackle harmful consequences of gambling thanks to the funding of £34 billion which the Government provided to the NHS for its Long Term Plan.
Specialist gambling addiction treatment
Mental Health treatment
Mobilising social support
Building recovery capital
— Matt Gaskell (@mgaskell12) September 18, 2019
The National Health Service joined forces with the gambling charity organisation GamCare to launch a new service to support individuals who are suffering from problem gambling across a network of locations in Leeds.
The Leeds Community Gambling Service is the first of this kind which has so far been released in the country. As mentioned above, it involves a partnership between GamCare, a gambling charity organisation, the Leeds City Council and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT). The service is getting funding from the largest gambling charity in the UK – GambleAware – and will be executed as part of the wider NHS Northern Gambling Service which NHS England funds.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, has welcomed the initiative. He reminded that problem gambling could lead to addictive behaviour that could ruin the lives of thousands of individuals and their families. Mr Hancock further noted that no one’s access to suitable protection and support services should be dependent on the place they live in, so the gambling addiction treatment network is being expanded outside of London to provide problem gamblers with the necessary support.
Problem Gambling Affects More People Across the UK
Both anti-gambling campaigners and local regulatory authorities have shared their concern for the fact that an increasing number of people is getting addicted to gambling. For the time being, the British gambling industry generates over £7 billion annually and has been flourishing over the past few years, considering the rising popularity of online gambling options.
The NHS Northern Gambling Service is set to offer care and support for people who face the negative consequences of severe gambling addictions. People dealing with additional and complex conditions affecting their mental health, as well as ones who are considered at risk of taking their own lives, would also be able to get the necessary treatment and support. The service would be available for family members and friends of problem gamblers, too.
Proud to launch the new NHS #NorthernGamblingService – offering free treatment and support to the thousands of adults struggling with gambling addiction across the North of England. Led by @mgaskell12. https://t.co/bEiYaW9Ezo@GamCare @BeGambleAware @NHSEngland @LeedsCC_News
— Leeds & York NHS PFT (@LeedsandYorkPFT) September 18, 2019
UK Health Secretary confirmed that the authorities intend to proceed with the launch of similar specialist services across the country as part of their NHS Long Term Plan to tackle gambling-related harm and protect the most vulnerable members of society. As mentioned above, the UK Government is providing an extra £34 billion to fund the project, making the biggest financial settlement in the history of the NHS.
Currently, according to data provided by the main gambling regulatory body in the UK – the Gambling Commission – there are about 430,000 problem gamblers on the territory of the country. A further 2 million are put at risk of becoming addicted to gambling. Unfortunately, the NHS has revealed that only around 5% of these people seek help to deal with the problem, while only 1% get actually treated for their gambling addiction.