Seven brand-new gambling treatment clinics will be opened by the NHS as the UK continues to grapple with a concerning rise in cases of gambling addiction.
It is estimated that around 1,400 patients were referred for help or further treatment in 2022. This is represents an increase of nearly four-fifths from two years ago, and a marked jump of around one-third year-on-year.
As a result, the NHS have set in motion an expansion to their gambling-related services, in attempt to reach more patients than ever. This has included opening seven new gambling treatment clinics – Bristol, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Thurrock, Derby, Sheffield and Blackpool will all see new centres pop up.
In addition to the eight that have already been establish across the nation, the addition of the new clinics means the NHS expect to treat almost double the amount of patients seen in 2022.
As the NHS explain, the clinics will look to “treat people with serious addiction issues through cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, support groups and aftercare.”
Dedicated professionals, including therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists will all be rolled into a comprehensive recovery service for affected families and problem gamblers.
Chief executive of the NHS Amanda Pilchard said: “In 1948 when the NHS was founded, you had to go to a bookies to place a bet, but now people can gamble on their phone at the touch of a button and everyone, young and old, is bombarded with adverts encouraging them to take part.“
“Record numbers of people are coming to the NHS for help to treat their gambling addiction, a cruel disease which has the power to destroy people’s lives, with referrals up by more than a third compared to last year.
“As it has done since 1948, the NHS is responding at speed and rolling out seven new gambling harms clinics across England, so that even more people can be supported by the NHS in their time of need.”