NHS Seeks a Clean Break from GambleAware Ret Funding

In an open letter written by Claire Murdoch, Mental Health Director to GambleAware boss Executive Zoë Osmond, the NHS has confirmed that it will no longer accept grants from the gambling industry to co-fund its problem gambling clinics and research, education, and treatment (RET) programs in the United Kingdom.

The NHS reached the decision after stakeholders like senior researchers and clinicians raised their concerns over the inappropriateness of its organizations accepting funds from the gambling industry to treat problems arising from the sector.

In the letter published by NHS England, the organization informed Gamble Aware that it would no longer be a participant in the ‘current dual commissioning and funding arrangement,’ which was launched to support the NHS’s network of specialist gambling clinics.

Claire Murdoch Mental Health Director

We are very grateful to GambleAware for the funding that you have provided over the last three years, which has allowed us to roll out treatment services faster than would have otherwise been possible. However, as these become part of normal recurrent spending commitment and the number of clinics is expanded, we want to move the funding into general NHS funding, as is standard for other similar services.

Claire MurdochMental Health Director

The latest decision by NHS governors to stop gambling sector funding to make the NHS’ problem gambling support network more independent is expected to cause ripples in GambleAware, a charity established to cater for players suffering from gambling-related problems in the United Kingdom. At the time of writing, GambleAware and its CEO have not yet responded to the latest developments.

However, the NHS has asserted that it would continue to have a ‘constructive relationship’ with GambleAware as it implements the changes.

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