The NHS Northern Gambling Service offers treatment and support to the thousands of adults struggling with gambling addiction across the North of England.
In England* around 224,000 adults (0.4% of the population) are classified as higher risk problem gamblers, with around two million (3.6%) classified as being “at risk” from developing a serious gambling problem. However, fewer than three per cent of those affected currently receive treatment or support.
This service, run by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT), is the first NHS gambling service of its kind to launch outside London. Its first clinic in Leeds opened in September 2019, with other clinics opening in Manchester and Sunderland early in 2020.
The Service provides care for those with severe addictions as well as treatment and support for people with:
- additional and complex mental health conditions,
- impaired social functioning, and
- those who may present with more risk - such as a risk of suicide.
People will get support through psychological therapies, addiction treatment programmes, mental health treatment, family therapy and peer support from those whose lives have already been adversely affected by gambling. The Service can also offer dedicated support to family members and carers of those affected by problem gambling.
Consultant Psychologist Matthew Gaskell is the Clinical Lead for the NHS Northern Gambling Service. He said:
“Gambling addiction is a new public health crisis. It’s causing serious harm to thousands of people across the UK. This includes mental health problems, serious debt, breakdown of relationships, loss of employment, crime, homelessness and, tragically, sometimes suicide.
“Through my work in mental health and addictions treatment over the years I’ve seen the harms that problem gambling can cause people. However the chances of recovery from addictions like problem gambling can be very good with proper treatment. I often see people make good sustained recoveries when they seek help.
“The Northern Gambling Service works alongside many other agencies and charities to support people. We believe ‘any door is the right door’ and people can either refer themselves for help, or come to us via any of these agencies and charities. We also support the family, friends and carers of those who might be affected by problem gambling.”
In June 2019, NHS England announced it would be commissioning a network of new services for adults and children across the country as part of commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan. This includes clinics within the NHS Northern Gambling Service (although the Northern Gambling Service will only be treating adults initially).
Contact the NHS Northern Gambling Service
To find out more or to make a referral, contact the NHS Northern Gambling Service by
- Telephone: 0300 300 1490
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or visit www.leedsandyorkpft.nhs.uk/our-services/northern-gambling-service
Find them online by searching “NHS Northern Gambling Service”.
Other forms of help and advice for gambling addiction can be found on the national NHS website at www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/gambling-addiction.