GamCare will continue to support those afflicted by problem gambling after backing a new NHS Primary Care Gambling Service (PCGS) which has opened in London.
The new service will give problem gamblers access to a multidisciplinary team of mental health nurses, GPs, GamCare treatment practitioners and therapists. It will also work alongside GPs to improve awareness of problem gambling, offering guidance on how to identify and support problem gamblers.
Starting in South East London (Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich) there is a plan to expand the service further in the next few months.
The PCGS will work alongside the National Gambling Treatment Service to support problem gamblers, with GamCare having developed an ‘integrated care pathway’.
A Competency Framework for gambling treatment in primary care is also being developed by the PCGS, which is being funded by GambleAware.
The new framework will set out the skills and experience needed for practitioners in this field and is a project being taken forward in association with the Royal College of General Practitioners.
London’s primary care service will be led by NHS General Dr Clare Gerada who commented on the launch: “There is evidence that many people who have problems related to gambling are in contact with their GP, but don’t necessarily talk about their gambling. We will be exploring how to identify them, and how to help them get access to the treatment that is right for them. We know from other areas of work that people value the option of getting treatment in primary care settings.”