The UK government has announced a significant increase in problem gambling treatment funding as part of its ten year strategy for the NHS.
The NHS Long Term Plan, announced on 7 January, outlined the provision of £2.3bn annually for mental health treatment by 2023, including dedicated problem gambling services.
“There will be a new guarantee that investment in primary, community and mental health care will grow faster than the growing overall NHS budget,” said the Department of Health in a statement.
“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.”
The report follows the commission by PM Theresa May for health secretary Matthew Hancock to expand NHS gambling addiction treatment centres beyond the single clinic in Fulham, London.
The pledge also comes shortly after charity GambleAware announced a £1m annual fund to support the Northern Gambling Clinic, opening April 2019, operated jointly by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and GamCare.
“This plan will make a difference to the lives of thousands of people with mental health problems,” added Paul Farmer, CEO of mental health charity Mind.