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Clare Gerada to head up new gambling support service for GP patients

GPs will be able to refer patients who have problems with gambling to a new support service that is being piloted across a number of areas in south east London.

The NHS Primary Care Gambling Service (PCGS) has been developed by the Hurley Group, working with gambling charity GamCare, and is being led by Professor Clare Gerada.

Patients who are referred to the service will be supported by a team of mental health nurses, GPs, treatment practitioners and therapists, working alongside the National Gambling Treatment Service.

The PCGS will also provide education to GPs to help improve their recognition of which of their patients may be experiencing harm through gambling.

The pilot will run across the south east London areas of Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich, with plans to expand the service in the next few months.

Professor Gerada, a London GP who is also medical director for GP mental health programme NHS Practitioner Health, said: 'There is evidence that many people who have problems related to gambling are in contact with their GP, but don’t necessarily talk about their gambling.

'We will be exploring how to identify them, and how to help them get access to the treatment that is right for them. We know from other areas of work that people value the option of getting treatment in primary care settings.'

The PCGS is also working with the RCGP to set up a new 'competency framework' for gambling treatment in primary care, funded by GambleAware.

RCGP professional development officer lead Michael Mulholland said the framework would 'help GPs and other primary care workers to develop their skills in treating people who are harmed through gambling'.

Readers' comments (32)

  • I am afraid as a society these Governments create endemic problems knowingly. Then pat themselves on the back for creating a solution. Alcohol, drugs, obesity, smoking, weapons and war, unemployment, housing, covid...mental health. BetFred, 888 and William Hill will still infect society and advertise freely and with omnipresence. Like Carlsberg and the loan sharks. Never creating the true solution (because your elitest friends own that betting company and casino), just temporary plasters, and financially suitable procurement contracts.

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  • Self referral service clearly . GP do not need to be involved in assessing management or treating this.

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  • It’s not self referral only. It’s as well as GP referral

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  • Cobblers

    Agree with 5.53 & 6.30pm. This should be a self referral service. The problem is a societal one and society should come up with answers.

    FFS Clare it isn't as if GPs are sitting on their collective arses gagging for work. If a given person asks for a referral then the self referral process should be pointed out. Making GPs a significant go between is not on.

    10 to 1 on that it'll be inadequately funded anyway. :-)

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  • What are you talking about locum gp in Kent. GPs don’t have to do anything. Patients can either self refer or be referred by their GP. Doesn’t matter. What do you mean ‘inadequately funded’ ? How do you make that comment. No service existed before this one. So it’s infinitely more than before !

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  • Gosh. GPs are a difficult bunch to please.

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  • This comment has been removed by the moderator

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  • Took Early Retirement

    I'm old-fashioned enough to say gambling is a moral issue and problem gamblers have "Lack of moral fibre". I know it's not a popular view, but I think at the moment there are more important issues. I mean the winter is coming up, and GPs are, IIRC, "ideally placed" to check on old people's central heating when they visit.

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  • Hawkeye

    Well done Clare
    Make it successful and expand throughout England
    It is needed and the self referral or Gp accessible
    Is great
    Good luck!

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  • I'd quite like to give up working for a living too; who do I have to be friends with?

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