Seven New Clinics Set to Open
The NHS has revealed that seven new gambling addiction clinics are set to open this summer.
Milton Keynes, Thurrock, Bristol, Derby, Liverpool, Blackpool and Sheffield will all see gambling harms clinics open.
There are currently eight clinics in operation in the UK. The seven new clinics will be added to these, with the NHS aiming to treat 3,000 patients a year across the 15 clinics.
Demand for support for “gambling-related harms rises
The NHS in England has seen a steep rise in demand for support for “gambling-related harms”, a spokeswoman for the service said. A record 1,389 patients were referred for help last year, compared to 1,013 last year and 775 two years ago.
According to Gambling Commission figures, 138,000 could have a gambling problem with around 1.3 million people engaging in moderate or low-risk gambling.
NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, said: “Ahead of the NHS’s 75th birthday on Wednesday, this expansion shows the NHS once again adapting to the new healthcare needs that have emerged over the last 75 years.”
Speaking on BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg show Ms Pritchard continued: “Back in 1948 when the NHS was founded you had to go to a bookie shop to place a bet, now it’s 24/7 on people’s phones. So unsurprisingly, we’re seeing a really significant increase in demand.
“And for people who have got severe gambling addiction, it’s a really cruel disease and it’s a life destroyer. Today we’re opening seven more clinics that brings the total to 15 specialist clinics.”
She went on to say that football clubs should “think seriously” about their responsibilities to fans.
“We’ve had three this week that have entered into deals with gambling industry providers for shirt sponsorship, which means that it’s kids that are seeing every day now messages that say gambling is OK,” she said.
“And I think actually would be really great to see the gambling industry and also organisations like football clubs really think seriously about their responsibilities here too.”
Public Health Minister Neil O’ Brien, said: “These new clinics will bring vital support to more parts of the country, so thousands more people can get the help they need. We have taken firm action to tackle gambling-related harms through our White Paper, which includes our commitment to introduce a statutory levy so gambling companies pay their fair share towards the costs of treatment services.”