GambleAware’s new strategy to harmonise community and public health collaboration on gambling harms

GambleAware has pledged that it will deliver an ‘integrated approach‘ to help the UK’s public health and community stakeholders minimise problem gambling harms across all levels of society. 

Publishing its ‘Organisational Strategy’ this morning,  GambleAware outlined the charity’s new ‘five-year strategy’ aimed at bolstering its social directives relating to the research, education and treatment (RET) of problem gambling and its impact on the UK’s vulnerable communities.

The RET charity stated that its new Organisational Strategy had been underpinned by a focus on the four key commissioning objectives of

  • Developing awareness and understanding of gambling harms.
  • Increasing access to services and reducing gambling harm inequalities.
  • Building capacity among health and community services to respond better to gambling harms.
  • Improving the coherence, accessibility, diversity, and effectiveness of the National Gambling Treatment Service.

Kate Lampard CBE, chair of trustees, explained: “Our vision is a society where everyone is protected from gambling harms, and that a greater proportion of those with gambling disorder will receive the right treatment with sustained recovery at rates comparable to other addictions and behavioural problems. 

“To help make this a reality, it is essential to ensure gambling harms are clearly understood. It is also vital that the mechanisms for effective prevention are in place, and those who are experiencing harms are able to access the advice, support and treatment they need.”

Central to the design of GambleAware’s new strategy, has been the longer-term financial commitment guaranteed by UK gambling operators to help fund the charity’s RET directives.

By securing longer-term funding, GamblAware stated that it had been able to evolve its operating structure to fulfil duties beyond grant making and procurement of services, allowing it to invest in new measures to prevent gambling harms for the longer term.

Moving forward, GambleAware’s increased investment will be based on a public health approach, underpinned by the three tiers of harm prevention – universal, selective, and indicated.

“The new approach will mean GambleAware can deliver a programme of work that demonstrates leadership in establishing, developing, and maintaining a coordinated network of services,” read GambleAware’s statement.

“It will enable further collaboration and growth of the National Gambling Treatment Service and ensure future service provision consistently delivers high standards of care and good outcomes.” 

Supporting its new vision, GambleAware cites that it has enlisted more than 40 programmes spanning UK research, evaluation, education and treatment to help achieve its long-term organisational goals.

The charity underscores that significant progress has been achieved by diversifying GambleAware’s engagement with wider community stakeholders undertaking new projects such as training initiatives for debt advisors and faith leaders, a targeted women’s prevention campaign and further community-led research programmes. 

GambleAware maintains its overriding objective to coordinate a ‘coherent whole system approach’ in which public health agencies, community organisers and those with lived experience of gambling harms can collaborate to improve the outcomes of the National Gambling Treatment Service. 

A whole-system approach is required to ensure that clear prevention messages, strong referral routes, and solid care pathways are in place for all individuals in need of support.

Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware, said: “Following a detailed consultation, it is clear that GambleAware and other organisations need to work together to achieve a society that is safe from gambling harms. Thanks to greater certainty in funding, we are now able to develop and implement longer-term commissioning plans to work towards a society where fewer people experience gambling harms and ensure that those who do, receive timely and effective support. 

“Over the next five years, we will work to build the accessibility and effectiveness of the National Gambling Treatment Service and ensure it is recognised as a strong coalition of treatment services and prevention activities, delivered in collaboration with the NHS and others.  By 2026, we hope to have made significant progress towards our vision, but also want to ensure that these programmes will continue to be sustained beyond the five-year term of this strategy.”

 

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