GambleAware releases new guidelines for GPs

| By Nosa Omoigui
Responsible gambling charity GambleAware has published its new competency framework for primary care practitioners, with an aim to provide a higher quality of care to those experiencing gambling harm.

The framework, endorsed by the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), is designed to increase awareness and confidence in patients and doctors alike that those experiencing gambling harm are getting the best possible treatment.

The framework’s primary objectives include providing professional and tiered competencies to treat the affected, arming these practitioners with the required knowledge and skills, and providing educational and training programmes.

GambleAware’s prevention director Dr. Jane Rigbye said: “To successfully prevent and help
those who experience gambling harm, there needs to be a joined-up approach across the wider
primary care network.

“As commissioners, we have a role to play to ensure all health care professionals have a clear understanding of gambling harms and where they can direct their patients to help or support if they need it, which is via the National Gambling Treatment Service.
“This new Competency Framework has been designed to achieve just that and we welcome the
support from the Royal College of General Practitioners to develop it.”

GambleAware produced its framework in consultation with organisations such as the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Gambling Health Alliance and the Primary Care Gambling Service.

It follows the charity’s interactive maps initiative launched in May to help identify demand for gambling harm treatment.

RCGP joint honorary secretary Dr Victoria Tzortziou-Brown OBE added:

“Gambling can cause significant harm both to the gambler and to others, and often the problems
are hidden from sight. This competency framework, which has been developed with the College’s
input will help move gambling problems from the shadows and allow patients to get the help
they need.”

Last year, the Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) launched its own training programme on gambling addictions for healthcare professionals, including general practitioners.

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