GamCare And KCL To Develop ‘Trigger’ Question Screening Tool

As part of people’s interaction with local authority adult social care providers, a research team led by GamCare and King’s College London (KCL) has secured funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to establish a ‘trigger’ question to recognise gambling-related harms.

The ‘Research for Social Care ‘ funding is intended to validate a new single question screening method that can be used in three local authorities with inquirers and service users to assess its efficacy.

This is said to encourage individuals affected by gambling harm to be placed in contact with help, and to provide local authorities with an image of the numbers affected and possible costs.

Despite considerable publicity about the expansion of industry during the COVID-19 pandemic and political concern in the public health impacts of gambling, the gambling support charity currently lacks data on gambling harm.”

The government is asked by local authorities to recognise and help individuals suffering from gambling harms such as debt, mental health issues and potential homelessness.

KCL research fellow and project leader Caroline Norrie explained: “This is only the second gambling related study to have been funded by the NIHR, so we are incredibly excited and also pleased to see gambling harm being recognised as an area where adult social care can play an important part in supporting people get the help they need.”

The study team includes leading researchers from the Health and Social Care Staff of the NIHR Policy Research Unit at King’s College London, experts from GamCare, the University of York, the Health Economics Department and Institute of Psychiatry of King’s College London, Dr Emily Finch, the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, gambling support charity BetKnowmore, and international gambling specialist

Anna Hemmings, chief executive at GamCare, added: “GamCare is delighted to work with the team on this programme. Developing a single question screening tool or ‘trigger question’ which can be implemented in a variety of settings is an essential part of better identifying gambling harms, so we can work together to address them as swiftly as possible.

“Giving professionals in adult social care settings the tools and confidence to open up conversations around gambling, risk and harm is a vital step to ensuring individuals, families and communities are able to access the right interventions at the right time to prevent harms from escalating.”