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Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms

ABSG progress report 2020

  1. Contents
  2. Section 6: Recommendations and priorities for 2020
  3. Recommendations – Treatment and support

Recommendations – Treatment and support

Our key recommendations are:

  • Implement the co-creation of a National Gambling Treatment Strategy led by DHSC with PHE, CQC, NICE, LGA, those with lived experience and established third sector partners. There should be equivalent co-creation in Scotland and Wales. This should ensure treatment and support is consistent and coordinated with clearly defined treatment pathways.
  • Develop a single screening tool and co-ordinate its use across a wide range of screening, triage and treatment settings in primary care and local authority settings.
  • Agree and publish care pathways for those with gambling addictions in common with agreed criteria for those with other forms of addiction. If implemented quickly, this would mitigate against the current ad hoc delivery and gaps faced by potential service users. This work should be led by DHSC, in partnership with NHSE, PHE and the third sector
  • Expand treatment provision to a wider range of high-risk environments – e.g. custody, debt advice services, people who are homeless. A number of pilots provide opportunities to build on this.
  • Agree a minimum data set to measure treatment outcomes, to ensure individuals receive the right care in the right place at the right time. This minimum data set needs to be available for further analysis to inform future service provision and understand which treatments work best and why. Reference to minimum data sets held for services for those with alcohol or drug addictions would help to ensure gambling harms are integrated and delivered in similar ways.
  • Accelerate routine quality assurance of treatment services by statutory inspectorates - CQC in England, Health Improvement Scotland and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales - so all treatment providers are subject to the same degree of scrutiny across the three countries.

Measures of Longer-Term Success

Aiming for

  • Clear treatment pathways – available to people presenting early signs of harm to targeted provision for high-risk groups. All treatment subject to robust quality assurance.


  • Operating with a more fragmented system – provided access is increased and all services subject to robust quality assurance.


  • Ad hoc delivery with gaps faced by many potential clients for treatment.
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Recommendations – Prevention and education
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