According to a report by the British gambling harm charity GambleAware, the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) is proving to be highly effective in treating patients. The NGTS, which is part of the National Gambling Support Network (NGSN), offers a range of services including early intervention, therapy, and residential treatment, and has been successful in helping at least 9 in 10 patients.
Data from the report also shows that the majority of users of the NGTS experience noticeable reductions in their gambling problems. Additionally, the service has proven to be quick in providing support, with half of users being seen within 5 days of referral and 75% within nine days.
The demand for preventative measures has also seen a significant increase, with the National Gambling Helpline reporting a 46% rise in the first quarter compared to the previous year.
GambleAware’s chief commissioning officer, Anna Hargrave, praised the results of the report and emphasized the importance of a prevention-focused approach. She highlighted the need to invest in early treatment, especially in light of Britain’s gambling harm rates.
Professor Dame Clare Gerada echoed these sentiments, emphasizing that gambling harm is not just a health issue, but a societal and public health issue as well. She stressed the important role that the third sector plays in addressing this issue.
The NGTS consists of 10 organizations operating across England, Scotland, and Wales, and they provide support to thousands of people struggling with gambling harm each year. In response to the report, NGSN members called for reassurance from the government that the proposed implementation of a new statutory levy on gambling companies would not harm the charity sector.
GambleAware’s CEO, Zoë Osmond, acknowledged the government’s response to calls for the introduction of the statutory levy but expressed concerns about the transition period. She emphasized the urgent need for reassurance that the essential services provided by the third sector will be protected during and after the transition.
There is a fear that the new system could increase financial pressure on the NGS and lead to longer waiting lists for services. Meanwhile, GambleAware has partnered with PayPlan to combat the stigma surrounding problem gambling.