GambleAware, the charity that funds research, prevention and treatment services to reduce gambling related harm, is to invest an extra £3.9m for up to three years to support expansion of the National Gambling Treatment Service via GamCare and its partners.
The money will enable the National Gambling Helpline to provide advice and brief interventions to more people (£705,000), while £435,000 will provide access to computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy where this is clinically appropriate.
A similar amount (£438,000) will develop peer support so that those recovering from gambling addiction can help others to access treatment and aftercare, while the lion share – £2,35m – will go towards expanding the provision of face-to-face treatment services in England, Scotland and Wales.
These GambleAware and GamCare initiatives will be funded immediately and supplement other developments that have already been announced, such as work with Adfam to improve support for those affected by the gambling of others, and a major investment to open the NHS Northern Gambling Clinic.
Marc Etches, chief executive of GambleAware, said: “Today’s announcement reflects a commitment by GambleAware to take a strategic approach to commissioning treatment services, to give people the help that they need to tackle the hidden addiction of problem gambling, and to improve the quality of life for them and their families.
“This significant expansion of the existing National Gambling Treatment Service demonstrates the shared commitment between GambleAware and GamCare, as commissioner and prime provider respectively, to make a real difference to people’s lives, by reducing barriers to treatment and increasing the capacity in the treatment system.”
Anna Hemmings, chief executive of GamCare, added: “GamCare is delighted to have developed a collaborative approach with GambleAware to support the expansion of the National Gambling Treatment Service. This funding will mean we can introduce broader accessibility, availability and choice for those harmed by gambling.
“With it, we will be able to reach larger numbers of people in more locations nationally, offering a wider range of services including both online and peer support alongside our existing treatment provision,” she said.
“GamCare and its network of regional partners provide services which significantly improve the quality of life of those harmed by gambling, and we will continue to develop our services to ensure that they can grow sustainably and offer the right support at the right time to as many people as possible.”
GambleAware announced last week that it had received £7.3m in one-off regulatory settlements that will allow the charity to plan to spend significantly more than the £10m it seeks each year from the gambling industry through voluntary donations in the short term.
Trustees anticipate that GambleAware’s actions to help deliver the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms will require a significant increase in funding for core services from April, 2020, over and above the investment announced today.