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NHS gambling clinic opens in Sheffield

NHS gambling clinic opens in Sheffield
By Beth Gault
18 March 2024

An NHS funded gambling clinic has opened in Sheffield as part of the government’s investment into mental health services.

The clinic is one of 15 across England where patients can access support from clinical psychologists, therapists, mental health practitioners, psychiatrists and peers. Patients can either be referred through a GP team or self-refer.

It is funded by the £2.3 billion per year investment into mental health services announced in the long term plan in 2019.

NHS England expects up to 3,000 people over the age of 13 to be treated across these clinics in a year.

It is estimated that 138,000 people could have a problem with gambling, with an additional 1.3 million people engaging in moderate or low-risk gambling, according to figures from the Gambling Commission.

Gambling-associated suicides are also predicted to be between 117 and 496 deaths per year, according to a government review published in 2019.

NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, said: ‘Gambling addiction is a cruel disease which has the power to destroy people’s lives, and as referrals continue to rapidly increase for these services, it is right that we increase the support available in line with demand.

‘The opening of the new NHS gambling clinic is a significant milestone and amid record demand for help, it is timely for patients who desperately need this vital treatment.’

National clinical advisor on gambling harms, Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE, said:‘We can now say there is no postcode lottery to treating gambling and all can benefit from evidence-based treatment to tackle this destructive illness which harms not only individuals but also their families.’

The other 14 clinics are in London, Milton Keynes, Thurrock, Bristol, Derby, Liverpool, Blackpool, Preston, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, and Telford.

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