NHS put into operation its gambling addiction service in Leeds to offer treatment to those with severe addictions and other mental health and impaired social behavior problems. It is the first service of its kind that is implemented in the United Kingdom outside of London.
It is part of the NHS Northern Betting Service and is being managed by Leeds and the York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT). The financing is paid by NHS England and GambleAware, jointly. By the beginning of 2020 it is planned to open similar services in Manchester and Sunderland.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, said:
“The problematic game is an addiction that ruins the lives of thousands of people and their families. I am determined to do what I can to address it. Nobody’s access to support should depend on where they live, so we are extending treatment outside London to help addicts get the support they need to change their lives.”
Among the long-term plans of NHS is to expand the implementation of these services throughout the country with the aim of repairing the damage caused by the game and protecting the most vulnerable people.
“Our goal is to prevent people from having problems with their game, while ensuring that those who develop problems receive fast and effective treatment and support,” said Marc Etches, executive director of GambleAware.
“These new services will play a vital role in ensuring that people with more serious and complex needs related to the game have quick access to a free, fast and effective treatment, wherever they are,” he added.
He stressed that looks forward to
“looking forward to seeing this clinic open and we would appreciate the opportunity to potentially replicate this approach in other areas of the United Kingdom in the future.”