Problem gambling funding body GambleAware has appointed Rachel Pearce, a regional director with the NHS, as a new trustee.
Pearce, who is director of commissioning operations for South West England, will now support GambleAware in its ongoing efforts to reduce gambling-related harm.
In her current role, Pearce provides strategic leadership and assurance to five Clinical Commissioning Groups and is responsible for a £1bn (€1.1bn/$1.3bn) commissioning budget for directly commissioned services, including primary care and Armed Forces for England.
Pearce also serves as a trustee for charities providing drug and alcohol services, and was previously vice-chair of wellbeing organisation The Independent Trust.
Kate Lampard, chair of trustees at GambleAware, said: “Rachel brings strong experience in commissioning, and we now consider the board to have a full complement of trustees that will enable us to pursue our charitable objectives to reduce gambling-related harms.
“GambleAware’s board has been wholly independent of the gambling industry since last year, and we believe this is necessary to secure public trust and confidence given our central role in commissioning research, education and treatment services.”
GambleAware is establishing stronger links with the NHS, having also brought in Paul Simpson, deputy chief executive of the Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, as a trustee in October. Simpson joined at the same time as Marcantonio Spada, Professor of Addictive Behaviours and Mental Health at London South Bank University.
Last week, the body also praised government plans to invest in new specialist clinics dedicated to treating problem gambling in its new 10-year strategy.
NHS England outlined plans to improve services offered to an estimated 400,000 problem gamblers, as well as a further two million people classed as being at risk of developing a gambling addiction.
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