Posted on: 5 October 2023

NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has released new recommendations for healthcare professionals to ask people about gambling in new draft guidance out for consultation.

NICE guidance state:

'These recommendations are for health and social care practitioners, and for practitioners working in the criminal justice system. They may also be relevant to people working in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors.'

'Consider asking people about gambling when asking them about smoking, alcohol consumption or use of other substances (for example, as part of a holistic assessment or health check, when registering for a service such as with a GP or on first contact with social services).'

To read the full guidelines click here. The above passage was taken from page four.

Professor Henrietta Bowden Jones, is the Clinical Lead for CNWL’s Centre for Behavioural Addictions and the spokesperson for the Royal College of Psychiatrists on gambling harms.

Henrietta says:

"We welcome NICE’s recommendation on early screening which will help identify people who are suffering harm from gambling."

"Gambling disorder is a mental illness which can be treated and it’s important that all barriers which prevent people from accessing care and support are removed. CNWL’s Gambling Clinic offers evidence-based treatment, providing vital support to those who need it most."

"We hope early screening will also help tackle the stigma around problematic gambling which has prevented many people from coming forward for support in the past." 

Claire Murdoch, CNWL Chief Executive and National Director for Mental Health said:

"Gambling addiction is a cruel disease that destroys people’s lives, and the NHS is already playing its part in treating, so if you’re struggling, please come forward for help."

“We will work with NICE on this consultation process and while this new guidance will ensure the NHS can help even more people struggling with gambling addiction to receive evidenced based treatment, it is vital that the billion-pound industry also takes action in line with the Government's White Paper to stop people coming to harm in the first place."

To find out more about CNWL’s National Problem Gambling Clinic click here.

To find out about the services that sit under CNWL's National Centre for Behavioural Addictions click here