Written PQ – Gambling addiction [29th June 2016]

Question: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to provide specialist local NHS services to treat gambling addiction. (40983)

Tabled on: 20 June 2016

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many people are employed as specialists by the NHS to assist people with gambling addictions. (40984) Tabled on: 20 June 2016
  2. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what funding his Department provides to the NHS to treat people with gambling addictions. (40985) Tabled on: 20 June 2016

Answer:Alistair Burt:

The Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust provides the only specialised national problem gambling clinic. However, specialised addiction services, which mainly deal with substance misuse, do tend to accept people with gambling problems referred to them. People can also access addiction services in primary care and secondary care, which may provide support for problem gambling.

People may also access psychological therapies through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. Although problem gambling is not listed amongst the provisional diagnosis categories that IAPT treats, IAPT practitioners would be able to treat common mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, which may be present in people with gambling addiction problems.

Data is not collected centrally on the number of specialist National Health Service professionals which provide support and treatment for gambling addiction.

Data is not collected on the funding of services to treat people with gambling problems. Funding to provide NHS mental health services is allocated to clinical commissioning groups which are best placed to commission local health services based on the needs of their local populations. Local authorities are responsible for commissioning local alcohol and drug treatment services which may also refer people to gambling support services where they identify people with gambling issues.

The answer was submitted on 29 Jun 2016 at 10:59.