| Extra funding for the
treatment of problem gambling in England is set to be included in the
governments new 10-year strategy for health spending.
Long Term Plan, published early January, put a focus on investment in mental
health services, which will rise to at least £2.3bn a year by 2023/24. As
part of this investment, additional funding and resources will be allocated to
create more dedicated services for the treatment of problem gambling.
The plan will see around two million more people who suffer anxiety,
depression or other mental health issues receive help over the next decade,
with 24-hour access to crisis care.
There will be a new guarantee
that investment in primary, community and mental health care will grow faster
than the growing overall NHS budget," a Department of Health spokesperson
This will fund a £4.5bn new service model for the 21st
century across England, where health bodies come together to provide better,
joined up care in partnership with local government..
would go further. Deputy leader Tom Watson said gambling operators should
contribute to the cost of NHS treatment for addicts. He added: Gambling
companies have to take more responsibility for harm caused by their
The Daily Mirror newspaper reported over the weekend
that Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered Health Secretary Matt Hancock to
establish more NHS treatment centres dedicated to the treatment of gambling
addiction. Currently there is just one centre of this kind,
based in Fulham, west London.
A second is being
established by problem gambling funding body GambleAware, which commissioned a
new NHS treatment centre worth in November 2018. The Leeds-based NHS Northern
Gambling Clinic will open in April 2019, and operate through a partnership
between Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and problem gambling
GamCare is also in the process of developing a problem
gambling support team for the local area to help identify, screen, and support
those affected by problem gambling.
The NHS Long Term Plan pledge to
bring mental and physical care together was welcomed by campaigners.
We are really pleased to see that mental health is such a key
focus in the NHS long term plan and we welcome the £2.3bn set aside for
mental health services," said Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health
This is the kind of sustained investment we need to
see to put mental health on an equal footing with physical health and, if
delivered, this plan will make a difference to the lives of thousands of people
with mental health problems.
National Problem Gambling
69 Warwick Road, London SW5 9BH
Phone: 020 7381 7722