Publishing its new ‘Organisational Strategy’, GambleAware has underlined the importance of ‘increasing access to services and reducing gambling harm inequalities’, as it continues in its vision of creating a society safe from gambling harms.
The charity has broken down its five-year Organisational Strategy into key commissioning objectives linked to awareness, inequalities, service capacity and access, which involve:
building capacity among health and community services to respond better to gambling harms and Improving the coherence, accessibility, diversity, and effectiveness of the National Gambling Treatment Service.
CEO Zoë Osmond emphasised: “Following a detailed consultation, it is clear that GambleAware and other organisations need to work together to achieve a society that is safe from gambling harms.
“Thanks to greater certainty in funding, we are now able to develop and implement longer-term commissioning plans to work towards a society where fewer people experience gambling harms and ensure that those who do, receive timely and effective support.”
GambleAware also detailed that extended financial commitments from the gambling industry have made it possible for it to focus on ‘grant-making and procurement of services’ and ‘investments in preventing gambling harms for the longer term’.
The increased investment is based on a public health approach, underpinned by the three tiers of harm prevention (universal, selective, and indicated).
The charity hopes the new approach will provide a programme of work that demonstrates ‘leadership in establishing, developing, and maintaining a coordinated network of services’, enabling ‘further collaboration and growth’ of the National Gambling Treatment Service and ensuring future service provision ‘consistently delivers high standards’ of care.
GambleAware stated the ‘integral’ collaboration between itself and health and community services will help it pursue the vision of a society safe from gambling harms, as effective prevention requires a coherent and coordinated ‘whole system approach’, which acknowledges the many other organisations, networks, and individuals that already play a key role across the system, or that have the potential to do so in the future.
The charity’s intention with the ‘whole system approach’ is to ensure that clear prevention messages, strong referral routes, and solid care pathways are available for all individuals in need of support.
GambleAware’s strategy lists more than 40 programmes, across research, evaluation, education, and treatment to achieve its vision of a society safe from gambling harm.
It has already made progress on working towards its vision with new projects such as training programmes for debt advisors and faith leaders, a targeted women’s prevention campaign and research programmes to build knowledge of the lived experiences of gambling harms amongst women and minority communities.
The tailored projects aim to serve the dual purpose of ‘delivering best-in-class commissioning’, whilst also ‘encouraging statutory bodies to follow suit’.
GambleAware also stated it is working toward a future in which the NHS and other statutory bodies ‘take the lead in commissioning prevention and treatment services’, whilst continuing to receive support from the voluntary and private sectors.
Osmond continued: “Over the next five years, we will work to build the accessibility and effectiveness of the National Gambling Treatment Service and ensure it is recognised as a strong coalition of treatment services and prevention activities, delivered in collaboration with the NHS and others.
“By 2026, we hope to have made significant progress towards our vision, but also want to ensure that these programmes will continue to be sustained beyond the five-year term of this strategy.”