New gambling addiction clinics to meet record demand

The NHS has announced that two new gambling clinics will open in England this year to meet increasing demand for specialist support for gambling addiction.

The two new clinics, based in Southampton and Stoke-On-Trent, will open from May and mean there will be seven specialist clinics in place across England. The other five NHS gambling addiction clinics in London, Leeds, Manchester, Sunderland and a national children and young person’s pilot clinic will inform the rollout of further gambling clinics when the services are evaluated later this year.

Between April and December last year, 668 people with the most severe gambling addiction issues were referred to NHS gambling clinics – up from 575 during the same period in 2020 – a 16.2 per cent

NHS mental health chief Claire Murdoch has penned a letter to GambleAware, confirming that the NHS will be fully funding its own gambling services from April – bringing the support in line with other NHS services. increase.

Murdoch said: “Gambling addiction is a cruel mental health condition that can devastate people’s lives – our pilot clinics are already having a lasting impact in helping people to take back vital control of their lives. The opening of two new gambling clinics in May, as a part of our £2.3 billion investment into mental health services, will mean we can help even more people with the most serious gambling problems.

“It is also absolutely right that the NHS now funds these clinics independently, recognising the harmful effects this addiction can have on the nation’s mental health, and that predatory tactics from gambling companies are part of the problem, not the solution.”

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