GambleAware Publishes Progress Of Expanded NGTS

The first statistics monitoring the growth and creation of the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) were published by GambleAware yesterday.

The NGTS, which was expanded in 2019, acts as a network of healthcare and advocacy agencies providing confidential treatment and assistance to those suffering from gambling damage or addiction.

GambleAware reports that nine-out-of-10 (90 percent) reported changes in their ‘Problem Gambling Severity Index’ (PSGI) by evaluating data from 9,008 patients who underwent NGTS treatments between April 2019 and March 2020.

The study detailed that after completing therapy, three-in-five patients who were labelled as ‘problem gamblers’ at the beginning of NTGS support would no longer be labelled in the group.

More optimistic people have seen patients decrease their psychological distress. Researchers found that 74 percent of patients who terminated their care would lower their CORE-10 threshold to moderate depression, calculated by the CORE-10 scale.

GambleAware noted further ‘participation changes’ with its study highlighting that the proportion of customers completing scheduled care rose from 59 percent to 69 percent between 2015/16 and 2019/20, while the proportion of customers dropping out of care decreased from 35 percent to 24 percent.

Three-quarters of participants (75 percent) were classified as male in a breakdown of 9,008 NGTS patients, in which 89 percent were from white ethnic backgrounds. Asian or Asian British attendance was (5 percent), with 3 percent of patients being accompanied by Black or Black British.

At the time of referral, NGTS patients had an average age of 34 years, with 25 percent saying they began gambling by the age of 19 and 50 percent saying it was by the age of 24.

Over 71 percent of patients undergoing NGTS services reported having debts due to their gambling activities, with almost half (45 percent) owing £5,000 or having failed or entering into a voluntary agreement, further report insights revealed. In the meantime, 16 percent of participants registered owing debts of £20,000-£ 99,999 at the deeper end of the scale.

Signing-off the statement from GambleAware, outgoing CEO Marc Etches stressed that the NTGS had reached important milestones, but that the network continued to need support to increase public awareness of its critical services.

“The publication of this detailed analysis, of the impact the National Gambling Treatment Service can have on people receiving support, is a significant milestone,” said Etches. “GambleAware commissioned ViewItUK to independently collate and analyse output and outcome data, which will allow GambleAware to rigorously evaluate these outcomes on the basis of robust and comparable evidence.

“We are committed to informing the development of best practice and outstanding care for those experiencing gambling harms in Great Britain, and the data reporting system we are pioneering is designed to be made available to the NHS, Public Health, local authorities and other statutory and voluntary sector agencies to meet the needs of local communities.”