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GambleAware reports tracks progress of expanded National Gambling Treatment Service

GambleAware has today published its first statistics tracking the progress and development of the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS).

Expanded in 2019, the NGTS functions as a network of healthcare and support organisations providing confidential treatment and help for anyone suffering from gambling harms or addiction.

Analysing data from 9,008 patients that undertook NGTS treatments between April 2019 to March 2020, GambleAware reveals that nine-out-of-10 (90%) demonstrated improvements in their ‘Problem Gambling Severity Index’ (PSGI).

The report detailed that three-in-five patients who were categorised as ‘problem gamblers’ at the start of NTGS support would no longer be classified in the category once they completed treatment. 

Further positives saw patients reduce their psychological distress. Measured by the CORE-10 scale, researchers found that 74% of patients who ended their treatment would reduce their CORE-10 threshold to moderate distress.

GambleAware noted further ‘participation improvements’ with its report highlighting that between 2015/16 and 2019/20 the proportion of clients completing scheduled treatment increased from 59% to 69%, whilst the proportion dropping out of treatment decreased from 35% to 24%.

A breakdown of 9,008 NGTS patients saw three-quarters of participants (75%) identify as male, in which 89% were from white ethnic backgrounds. Asian or Asian British participation was (5%), followed by Black or Black British at 3% of patients. 

NGTS patients had an average age of 34 years at time of referral, with 25% saying they started problem gambling by the age of 19 and 50% said it was by the age of 24. 

Further report insights revealed that over 71% of patients undertaking NGTS treatments reported having debts due to their gambling habits, with almost half (45%) owing £5,000 or were bankrupt or had entered a voluntary arrangement. Meanwhile, at the deeper end of the scale, 16% of participants reported owing debts of £20,000-£99,999.

Signing-off GambleAware’s statement, outgoing CEO Marc Etches underlined that the NTGS had reached significant milestones, but that the network continued to need help raising public awareness of its vital services

“The publication of this detailed analysis, of the impact the National Gambling Treatment Service can have on people receiving support, is a significant milestone,” said Etches. “GambleAware commissioned ViewItUK to independently collate and analyse output and outcome data, which will allow GambleAware to rigorously evaluate these outcomes on the basis of robust and comparable evidence.

“We are committed to informing the development of best practice and outstanding care for those experiencing gambling harms in Great Britain, and the data reporting system we are pioneering is designed to be made available to the NHS, Public Health, local authorities and other statutory and voluntary sector agencies to meet the needs of local communities.”

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