Industry charity GambleAware and the NHS have commissioned the development of a new gambling addiction treatment clinic in Leeds (Yorkshire), strengthening gambling-harm prevention, research and treatment infrastructures for the North of England.
Set to open by April 2019, the clinic will be operated by a partnership formed between the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the GamCare Network.
Updating stakeholders, GambleAware governance confirms that it will contribute over £1 million per year to fund the clinic.
“GambleAware is committed to reducing gambling-related harms in Great Britain,” explained Marc Etches, Chief Executive of GambleAware. “Our aim is to stop people getting into problems with their gambling and to ensure those that do develop problems receive fast and effective treatment and support.”
Etches further confirms that GambleAware governance is exploring options of opening similar sites in other locations around the UK if its “limited charitable resources allow” it to do so.
Supporting the clinic’s operations, GamCare will develop a ‘Problem Gambling Support team’ in Leeds which will work across the area to identify, screen, and support anyone affected by problem gambling.
Furthermore, the GamCare team will develop training programmes to support North England’s wider healthcare stakeholders, such as authority staff, youth practitioners and healthcare workers identify problem gambling harms.
The Leeds NHS North clinic is set to be led by Matt Gaskell, a senior NHS Psychologist, who commented on the directive:
“I’m thrilled that we’ve got the go-ahead to set up an NHS gambling addiction service across the north of England. Gambling addiction has a devastating effect on the lives of individuals and the people around them, including their loved ones.
“Those diagnosed with gambling disorder often need help with a range of difficulties, including mental health problems, and it can lead to serious debt and family breakdown, people losing their jobs, people turning to crime in desperation for funds, and even suicide.
“I have been campaigning for many years to set up a clinical service to help those affected by serious gambling disorder. I’m looking forward to getting this service up and running so we can start turning lives around.”