The NHS Northern Gambling Service has opened a new clinic in the North East which will see and treat more of the thousands of people across the north of England suffering with gambling addiction.
The service’s new base at the Beacon of Light in Sunderland is now home to a Consultant Psychologist, Consultant Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist and Senior Mental Health Nurse. Alongside the 11-strong team in Leeds they will provide care for those with severe addictions. They will also provide treatment and support to people with additional and complex mental health conditions as well as those who may present with more risk – such as a risk of suicide.
In England* around 265,000 adults (0.4% of the population) are classified as higher risk problem gamblers, with around 2.4million (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.
The NHS Northern Gambling Service, run by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT), launched in September 2019. It is the first NHS gambling service of its kind to launch outside London. A further base covering the North West of England will soon be launched in Manchester.
The North East clinic is part of commitments made in the NHS Long Term Plan. In June 2019, NHS England announced it would be commissioning a network of new gambling addiction services for adults and children across the country as part of these commitments, although the NHS Northern Gambling Service will only be treating adults initially.
People can 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 separate support to family members and carers of those affected by problem gambling.
How to seek help from the NHS Northern Gambling Service
The NHS Northern Gambling Service works closely with a range of people and organisations including GPs, local councils, NHS trusts, national and local charities, Citizens’ Advice, the criminal justice system, debt agencies, substance misuse services and homeless agencies.
One of our core values is that ‘any door is the right door’ which means people can be referred in via a number of routes no matter where they are or who they are receiving help from. People can also self-refer.
A range of other options for people seeking help for gambling addiction can be found on the national NHS website at www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/gambling-addiction.