GambleAware recorded that on the Problem Gambling Severity Index scale, 94 percent of Welsh gamblers using its National Gambling Treatment Service showed progress.
Using data obtained by ViewItUK, the charity is releasing the first comprehensive statistical study on the use of the NGTS by Welsh residents, which aims to provide stakeholders with a geographic view of developments.
In Wales, the service served a total of 271 people, 68 percent of whom were male, with an improved PGSI score showing 94 percent of gamblers who completed treatment between 2019 and 2020.
It was also recorded that 57 percent of Welsh patients identified as ‘problem gamblers’ were no longer in the post-treatment high-risk group, while more than three-quarters (87 percent) of patients had an enhanced CORE-10 score.
Dr Jane Rigbye, interim director of commissioning at GambleAware, explained: “We are pleased to see the improvement in the rate of treatment completion and that 94 per cent of those service users who did complete treatment showed improvement when measured against the problem gambling Severity Index.
Much to be done to improve awareness
“Also, we are encouraged to see a relatively high level of professional referrals through GPs and other services. However, this report makes clear there is still much to be done to improve awareness and take-up of treatment services available to those who are experiencing gambling harms in Wales.
“GambleAware is committed to pursuing greater collaboration with the NHS, public health bodies, local authorities and the third sector across Wales to improve awareness of the National Gambling Treatment Service, including the National Gambling Helpline, and develop the most appropriate care pathways and referral routes to get more people into treatment.”
The proportion of patients who completed scheduled care increased from 64 percent to 80 percent, while the proportion of drop-outs decreased from 28 percent to 15 percent.
Highest specialist patient referral rates
GambleAware noticed that for Great Britain, Wales had the highest specialist patient referral rates, with those in the country staying at 4 percent compared to 1.5 percent and among other devolved administrations.
The study went on to demonstrate that, on average, those in care reported spending £ 1,330 on gambling 30 days before assessment, resulting in a debt of 65 percent. One in 10 reported gambling job losses, while 31 percent had suffered relationship losses.
Within the 2019/20 study, the majority of people using the service found that 69 percent were working, with smaller proportions unable to function because of sickness (15 percent), being unemployed (seven percent), retired (three percent), homemaker (three percent) or a student (two per cent).