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GPs to be trained to help gamblers

GPs to be trained to help gamblers
31 March 2011

People who are facing harm from gambling will be able to get help and support from family doctors thanks to a new funded scheme.

As many as 1,500 GPs in England, Scotland and Wales will be trained by the programme in its first 24 months.

The project’s aim is for people who are at risk of harm to be spotted and referred on.

The Responsible Gambling Fund (RGF), which is a national charity that distributes funds for gambling research, education and treatment, will fund the project. The programme will include online learning and workshops.

A team from the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) has been commissioned to develop and run the programme at a cost of around £192,000 a year for three years.

Gambling-related harm is a new area for many working in the health and community sector.

Baroness Julia Neuberger, chair of RGF, said: “This new training programme opens up a new front in the battle to combat gambling-related harm.

“Only a small proportion of people get the help they are looking for by going direct to specialist treatment services. We want to see them being identified earlier and helped to get access to services they need.”

Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the RCGP, and a practising GP, said: “Gambling is a serious problem but it does not get the same attention as other forms of addiction. When times are tough financially, we often see a rise in gambling as people view it as a quick fix for their money worries.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011

The Responsible Gambling Fund

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