Treatment Statistics from 2018-2020 in context

Updated: Apr 15

National Gambling Treatment Service statistics (Great Britain) published by GambleAware: 2018/19 and 2019/20.


Executive Summary

Overview of treatment statistics in Great Britain (for services that report to the DRF):

  • Overall, 9008 and 7675 individuals were treated within gambling services within 2019/20 and 2018/19, respectively

  • 3905 (66.3%) and 3635 (68.1%) gambling clients completed scheduled treatment in 2019/20 and 2018/19, respectively

  • 954 (80.2%) and 580 (78.6%) affected others completed scheduled treatment in 2019/20 and 2018/19, respectively

Key findings

  • Less than 1% of past-year PGs in Great Britain completed treatment

  • Less than 0.03% of affected others completed treatment

  • Treatment services see significantly fewer younger (16-34-year-olds) and BAME gamblers than are expected using data from the last well-designed prevalence study

  • Gambling treatment services are disproportionately reliant on self-referrals when compared to other addiction treatment services in the UK

  • Median waiting time for residential services was reported at 104 days in 2019/20 and 116 days in 2018/19 - reflecting a mismatch between needs and provisions

  • Although treatment statistics reflect tremendous improvements in clients, only 30% reported a score of 0 on the PGSI at the end of treatment - indicating the importance of follow-up care and support

  • Treatment data shows significant improvements in PGSI and CORE-10 and thus demonstrate that treatments have a profoundly impactful impact on health and wellbeing

Methods

  • Firstly, we compare the age-gender-ethnic distributions of the treatment population over what may be expected based on prevalence statistics from the latest well-designed study (BGPS 2010)

  • Finally, we summarise data on sources of referral into treatment and treatment outcomes.

Results

Number of individuals by PGSI at earliest appointment in 2019/20 (2018/19)

  • No problem 54 (36)

  • Low-risk 49 (36) or approximately 0.02% of low-risk harm gamblers

  • Moderate-risk 280 (174) or approximately 0.3% of moderate-risk harm gamblers

  • Problem gambler 6326 (5952) or approximately 1% of gamblers who suffer problem gambling harm

Number of affected others

  • There are an estimated 3.9m individuals who suffer significant harm due to someone else's gambling (6 affected others for every case of gambling disorder)

  • We estimate that less than 0.03% of affected others are treated within gambling services in Great Britain.

Gambling clients by age

The distribution of gambling clients in treatment by age remained stable from 2018/19 - 2019/20.

  • Treatment populations are significantly older than the expected population, and this is most pronounced among 16-24 and 25-34-year-olds.

Gambling clients by ethnicity

The distribution of gambling clients in treatment by ethnicity remained stable from 2018/19 - 2019/20.

  • Treatment populations are significantly and disproportionately less composed of BAME ethnic groups.

Source of referral into treatment for Gambling clients in 2019/20 (2018/19)

  • Self-referral: 92.2% (92.2%)

  • Prison: 1.5% (0.8%)

  • Other service or agency: 2.0% (2.4%)

  • GP: 1.4% (1.7%)

  • Mental health NHS trust: 0.9% (0.9%)

  • Other primary health care: 0.9% (0.8%)

  • Probation service: 0.3% (0.3%)

  • Employer: 0.2% (<0.1%)

  • Social services: 0.2% (0.2%)

  • Drug Misuse Services: 0.1% (0.0%)

  • Police: 0.1% (0.2%)

  • Carer: 0.1% (0.1%)

Comparing referral reasons in other treatment services for 2018/19

Waiting times in 2019/20 (2018/19)

  • For clients treated during 2018/19 and 2019/20, 50% of clients were seen within three days and 75% within eight days.

  • Waiting times for residential services were higher, with 50% of clients seen within 104 days (116 days)

Treatment

PGSI change in 2019/20 (2018/19)

  • Between the earliest and latest appointment within treatment, the median change was of an improvement by 12 points (13 points)

  • For individuals with gambling disorder completing treatment, 74% (76%) were no longer defined as problem gamblers at the end of treatment, and 30% (36%) scored a score of 0 (reflecting no gambling harm in the past 12 months)

CORE-10 change in 2019/20 (2018/19)

  • In both 2018/19 and 2019/20, the average change in CORE-10 scores in gambling clients between earliest and latest appointments was by 8 points.

  • For those completing scheduled treatment, improved scores were recorded for 85.8% (87.1%) of individuals.

  • When comparing percentages of gambling clients below clinical cut-off, 14.8% were below the cut-off at the earliest appointment, and 54.2% were at the latest (14.7%, 54.5%)

Conclusion

  • Treatment providers play a pivotal role in improving individuals' health and well-being, gambling harm either as gamblers or as affected others.

  • Groups that are disproportionately affected by gambling harm, such as younger people and individuals from a BAME background, are also less likely to be receiving treatment.

  • Other gaps in services are perceived in provisions for affected others, residential services, and follow-up care.

  • Relative to other addiction treatment services, gambling-treatment services are far more reliant on self-referral, reflecting systemic issues within health care and criminal justice.

  • Only a small fraction of those suffering gambling harm (less than 1%) complete treatment, which demonstrates that gambling harm is still neglected relative to other issues

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