March 18, 2024 3 min read


NHS Answers High Demand for Support with New Sheffield Clinic

Following the considerable increase in demand for support with problem gambling, the NHS has opened a new gambling clinic in Sheffield

In 2023 alone, the National Health Service (NHL) in the UK, the government-paid service that offers free medical treatment for everyone, stepped up its problem gambling support by opening no less than seven new gambling clinics. 

Now, news has emerged the NHS has opened a brand new facility in Sheffield city center, anticipating the acute need for more help centers. 

Answering the “Record Demand” for Support 

The latest NHS treatment clinic to open in England is the last of the 15 fresh services that have opened. 

The clinic will provide specialized treatment to as many as 3,000 people every year with the help of therapists, clinical psychologists, and peer support.

As explained by NHS England’s chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, the number of referrals for gambling addiction services kept “rapidly” going up, which triggered the decision to align the support with the demand.

Pritchard also spoke about the ever-growing gambling industry, which is currently valued at £1 billion and which she described as “becoming more addictive,” in relation to mainstream sporting events that are constantly boosting problem gambling numbers.

This way, the chief executive justified the utter importance of giving people “access to treatment that adapts to their healthcare needs.”

Pritchard called the opening of the new gambling clinic “a significant milestone” that came “amid record demand for help,” calling it a timely solution for patients in desperate need of this critical type of treatment.

Self-Enrolment and Referrals Available

The Sheffield clinic is open to people who are at least 18 and are looking to self-enroll. 

The clinic will also accept referrals through their general practitioner offices.

Liz Ritchie, a parent whose son Jack fell victim to his gambling addiction in 2017, welcomed the program, calling the clinics “just brilliant” and praising the efficiency of the treatment offered there.

In an interview for BBC Radio, Mrs Ritchie, who set up the Gambling with Lives charity together with her husband, also lobbied for prevention and education as being key to fighting off gambling addiction, which she described as being “highly correlated with suicide.”

Northern Gambling Service’s head, Dr Matt Gaskell, also emphasized the necessity for prevention.

Gaskell explained that it is critical to “get this out in the open much earlier, rather than waiting until everything falls apart.”

While he welcomed the widespread treatment available through the new clinics in the region, he explained that “can’t be the answer” and said more work needs to be done toward prevention.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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