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Commissioning the National Gambling Treatment Service

The National Gambling Treatment Service brings together a National Gambling Helpline and a network of locally-based providers across Britain to deliver a range of treatment services, including brief intervention, counselling (delivered either face-to-face or online), residential programmes and psychiatrist-led care.

  • The National Gambling Treatment Service brings together a National Gambling Helpline and a network of locally-based providers across Britain to deliver a range of treatment services, including brief intervention, counselling (delivered either face-to-face or online), residential programmes and psychiatrist-led care.
  • NHS-based treatment – The National Gambling Treatment Service includes a psychiatrist-led service provided by the Central and North-West London NHS Foundation Trust that GambleAware has funded for a decade. A second NHS service commissioned by GambleAware has recently opened, delivered by Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with GamCare. These services are designed to help people with more serious and complex needs, including people receiving NHS treatment for other conditions.
  • In Leeds, we have been working alongside statutory and voluntary sector agencies to support a place-based approach for the local population, and to map care pathways and develop referral routes into treatment, including self-referral via the National Gambling Helpline.
  • We believe this initiative is a concrete example of the right partnership approach, and forms the basis of the commitment in the NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan, 2019-24 (pp 40-41) in which GambleAware is recognised as an NHSE partner in relation to the NHS commitment to opening 15 specialist problem gambling clinics in the next five years. Similar discussions are underway in Scotland and in Wales.
  • Local engagement to develop local care pathways is backed up by national initiatives, for example GambleAware has funded the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) to develop an e-learning module for primary care staff to develop their understanding of gambling disorder and the treatment that is available.
  • In the 12 months to 31 March 2019, the National Gambling Treatment Service treated 10,000 people and the Helpline received 30,000 calls and on-line chats. Waiting times are short, and compare favourably to NHS IAPT mental health services. Routine monitoring and evaluation demonstrates that current treatment is effective.
  • GambleAware has commissioned ViewIt UK to begin independent collection and analysis of output and outcome data with more granular detail. Data will be validated by checks and procedures similar to those that fulfil that function for the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System on behalf of Public Health England (PHE), and the system made available to NHS.
  • Treatment for gambling disorder is not a regulated activity under the legislation which governs the work of the Care Quality Commission (CQC). In conjunction with the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC), GambleAware is exploring the scope for an equivalent level of assurance.
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