GambleAware – Great Britain’s leading commissioner for the reduction of gambling harm – has developed a comprehensive partnership of treatment and support providers during a robust process that has built on extensive engagement. The National Gambling Support Network (previously National Gambling Treatment Service or the “NGTS”) will deliver a regional-first approach, improving referral routes and ensuring individuals receive the right support at the right time.
The National Gambling Support Network (NGSN) is made up of a range of third sector treatment providers across who provide free, confidential support, without judgement, for anyone experiencing problems from gambling, as well as those affected by someone else’s gambling.
GambleAware commissioned this network to meet the growing and changing needs of those at risk of gambling harms in Great Britain and will have a specific focus on early intervention. This will help prevent escalation of harms and support required which, in turn, will help relieve pressure on the NHS.
The transformation of early intervention, support and treatment services will lead to several long-term benefits for the gambling harms sector, with the promotion of a holistic, joined up service and by creating the conditions and incentives across the sector for providers to innovate and deliver cost-effective, high-quality outcomes for service users.
This will be reflected by a regional first approach, resulting in improved referral routes for anyone experiencing harms from gambling. During any form of brief intervention for gambling harm, or any initial call to the National Gambling Helpline, staff will direct those in need of support to their local treatment provider. At this stage, local providers will conduct an assessment and refer individuals into the best treatment or support option for their needs.
Anna Hargrave, GambleAware Chief Commissioning Officer, said: “As the country’s leading commissioner in this sector, we’re delighted to announce the new National Gambling Support Network and our increase in investment for those experiencing gambling harm.
“The NGSN is built on strong foundations and brings together a network of excellent regional providers, who are strong agents of change working to meet people’s needs. By taking a regional first approach we hope to create new opportunities to work with other local services and government agencies. By broadening our reach at a local level and engaging with local authorities or the criminal justice sector, for example, means we can further help those experiencing harm from gambling.”
The involvement of people with lived experience of gambling harms has been central to the design of the new NGSN. The views of those from this community will be integral in shaping how the network operates in the future, to ensure it continues to meet the needs of those experiencing gambling harm.
Wayne, ALERTS, who has lived experience of gambling harms, said: “Gambling harms can affect anyone. This is why it is so important the treatment and support services available for people are as accessible, proactive and representative as possible.
“The design of the new National Gambling Support Network means those who are experiencing gambling harm can access specialist, tailored treatment or support, dependent on their needs, quickly and efficiently, wherever they are across Great Britain.”