GamCare seeks service enhancement with cognitive behavioural therapy

GamCare has detailed on invitation to tender related to the provision of computerised cognitive behavioural therapy software, tailored for those affected by gambling-related harms, which can also be integrated into further support services.

The national problem gambling support charity is striving to introduce a new range of end-to-end digital interventions, that it is hoped can enhance existing protocols and help to reach more people affected by gambling problems.

These are set to include provision of digital screening for problem gambling using a validated screening tool such as PGSI, as well as brief intervention modules of up to 15 minutes which will be recommended based on the outcome of screening, and which can also be used as standalone modules by GamCare’s frontline service advisers.

Furthermore, GamCare is seeking cCBT for up to 10 sessions, each with a minimum duration of 20 minutes or maximum duration of one hour, and the provision of data and analytics to ensure GamCare can monitor individual characteristics, progress, attrition, outcomes and follow ups for all participants in the programme.

The charity currently operates the National Gambling HelpLine and NetLine, as well as providing a range of face-to-face, online and telephone treatment services, which are all based on cognitive behavioural therapy.

Anna Hemmings, GamCare CEO, commented: “Offering our service users a range of effective and flexible treatment options, including digital interventions to suit them, will mean that we are able to reach more people affected by problem gambling.”

In its extensive invitation to tender, which outlines a series of characteristics software must have, GamCare detailed that the “budget available for the software, inclusive of all elements, start-up costs and support, is £30,000 annually”.

Submissions are set to be “evaluated with a weighting of 70 per cent on quality and 30 per cent on pricing information”.

Emphasising certain aspects of operational background, and why this could be seen as a crucial step forward, it is stated that “GamCare currently uses cognitive behavioural therapy in its model of care in the treatment of problem gambling.

“We provide problem gamblers with a range of CBT based support options, which include access to treatment support online, via telephone and in person face-to-face. Offering choice to service users is an important part of this, and computerised CBT would be consistent with our overarching CBT based model of care.

“It would provide a further development to our existing online Skype/Zoom based one to one and group work. CCBT is widely used in mental health service to treat depression and anxiety, and is seen as a cost-effective alternative to face to face treatment.

“For these reasons, we are keen to explore CCBT within the problem gambling cohort.”