The UK’s responsible gambling charity GambleAware has published an independent process and impact evaluation report on the gambling support services available in England and Wales.
Gambling support services in England and Wales were delivered in 12 regions between October 2018 and March 2021. The report identified “key facilitators, barriers and opportunities” for programme success.
The charity said that in order to overcome the problems around screening, there should be more flexibility in the questions being asked to encourage natural conversations.
On top of this, it was recommended that training given to front-line workers “should more thoroughly and consistently address the issue of perceived uncomfortable conversations.”
Helen Owen, Evaluation and Monitoring Director at GambleAware, said: “This thorough evaluation has evidenced Citizens Advice’s important role in providing advice for people at risk of or experiencing gambling harm and signposting them to help.
“Alongside this it has helped identify the main barriers to success for the gambling support service. With this understanding we now have a clear view on what opportunities there are to improve the service. The learnings from this evaluation have contributed to the commissioning of the new process and model, at a National Citizens Advice level.”
Daniel Marshall, Head of Business Development at Citizens Advice, said: “Problem gambling can have life-changing effects, not only for those gambling, but for their family, friends and colleagues as well. It’s so important that anyone who is struggling knows they can get help and that they don’t need to deal with this alone. We are very pleased to be working with GambleAware on such an important project.”
Publication of the evaluation comes alongside the introduction of a new framework to provide a higher quality of care to those experiencing gambling-related harms.
The charity’s new framework has been endorsed by the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) and is designed to increase awareness and confidence in patients and doctors that those who are experiencing gambling harms are getting the best possible treatment.
The framework is made up of several primary objectives that include providing professional and tiered competencies to treat those impacted by gambling.
The main objectives of the new framework are to :