| Extra funding for the
treatment of problem gambling in
England is set to be included in the governments new 10-year strategy
for health spending.
The NHS Long Term Plan, published early January,
put a focus on investment in mental health services, which will rise to at
least £2.3bn a year by 2023/24. As part of this investment, additional
funding and resources will be allocated to create more dedicated services for
the treatment of problem gambling.
The plan will see around two million
more people who suffer anxiety, depression or other mental health issues
receive help over the next decade, with 24-hour access to crisis care.
There will be a new guarantee that investment in primary,
community and mental health care will grow faster than the growing overall NHS
budget," a Department of Health spokesperson said.
This will fund
a £4.5bn new service model for the 21st century across England, where
health bodies come together to provide better, joined up care in partnership
with local government..
Labour would go further. Deputy leader
Tom Watson said gambling operators should contribute to the cost of NHS
treatment for addicts. He added: Gambling companies have to take more
responsibility for harm caused by their products.
The Daily Mirror
newspaper reported over the weekend that Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered
Health Secretary Matt Hancock to establish more NHS treatment centres dedicated
to the treatment of gambling addiction. Currently there is just one centre of
based in Fulham, west London.
A second is being
established by problem gambling funding body GambleAware, which commissioned a
new NHS treatment centre worth in November 2018. The Leeds-based NHS Northern
Gambling Clinic will open in April 2019, and operate through a partnership
between Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and problem gambling
GamCare is also in the process of developing a problem
gambling support team for the local area to help identify, screen, and support
those affected by problem gambling.
The NHS Long Term Plan pledge to
bring mental and physical care together was welcomed by campaigners.
We are really pleased to see that mental health is such a key
focus in the NHS long term plan and we welcome the £2.3bn set aside for
mental health services," said Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health
This is the kind of sustained investment we need to
see to put mental health on an equal footing with physical health and, if
delivered, this plan will make a difference to the lives of thousands of people
with mental health problems.
National Problem Gambling
69 Warwick Road, London SW5 9BH
Phone: 020 7381 7722