Today NHS England and GambleAware significantly expand UK problem gambling support networks, opening the ‘NHS Northern Gambling Service’ facility in Leeds.
A key 2019 UK health directive, the problem-gambling support, treatment and research clinic will be run by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) working in partnership with GamCare networks.
The Leeds clinic is the first gambling-support centre to be formed outside of London, with the UK government stating its commitment to opening facilities in Manchester and Sunderland by early 2020.
Improving UK problem-gambling support networks and understanding of gambling addiction as a public health issue, GambleAware will commit £1 million per year towards the facility.
Marc Etches, Chief Executive of GambleAware, said: “These new services will play a vital role in making sure those with more serious and complex needs linked to gambling will have quick access to free, fast and effective treatment, wherever they may be. We very much look forward to seeing this clinic open and we would welcome the opportunity to potentially replicate this approach in other areas of the UK in the future.”
Serving its mandate, the Leeds clinic will offer patient support through psychological therapies, addiction treatment programmes and` mental health assessments.
In addition, the clinic will develop community infrastructures helping a patient’s family with therapy, consultation and peer support, for ‘those whose lives have already been adversely affected by gambling’.
Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: “Problem gambling is an addiction which ruins lives for thousands of people and their families. I am determined to do what I can to tackle it.
“As part of our NHS Long Term Plan, we will continue to roll out these specialist services across the country and undo the damage caused by gambling and protect our most vulnerable. This is all possible thanks to this Government’s historic commitment of £33.9bn extra taxpayers’ money – the largest and longest cash settlement in the history of the NHS.”