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Jeremy Hunt marks 10 years of CNWL’s National Problem Gambling Clinic

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15 June 2018

For immediate publication

Jeremy Hunt marks 10 years of CNWL's National Problem Gambling Clinic

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP today acknowledged the NHS needed to do more to help problem gamblers as he unveiled a plaque to mark 10 years of CNWL's National Problem Gambling Clinic - still the only NHS clinic designed to treat gambling disorders.

Speaking in front of a select gathering at the Clinic, Mr Hunt acknowledged the NHS needed to do more to help problem gamblers and pledged to work with experts to find solutions that will help problem gamblers across the country.

He said: "Like most addictions, problem gamblers suffer in silence, making it very hard to identify the scale of the problem. Data suggests around 430,000 people are problem gamblers - but we do not know nearly enough about where and who these people are, how to support them or how we can stop people tipping over into problem gambling in the first place."

"We want to remedy this - which is why we've asked Public Health England to carry out a review that will inform action on how we can prevent and treat this issue."

The event was held at the Clinic in Warwick Road with a variety of guests including CNWL Chief Executive Claire Murdoch, Clinic founder and Director Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, Lord Chadlington, staff from CNWL, commissioners, representatives from gambling charities, and two people impacted by gambling.

Dr Bowden-Jones said today was a day to celebrate not just the 10th anniversary but also to celebrate the Government's growing interest in problem gambling, which impacts negatively upon millions of people.

Explaining the work of the clinic, which is the first and only NHS clinic designed to treat gambling disorders, she said the Clinic had been inundated with referrals from all over the country and seen thousands of people. Now was the time for action, she said as she called for an expansion of dedicated services across the country.

"We are optimistic that the next decade will bring what we have wished for from the day we started. This country needs to acknowledge problem gambling as an illness, as an addiction just like any other. In doing so it needs to accept responsibility for the treatment of the half a million patients currently suffering from this disease," she said and added: "We foresee CNWL leading the way by creating four NHS support services across the country in order to make sure a safe and effective NHS way of working is available to all who need it."

Claire Murdoch said: "We've been very proud to support the Gambling Clinic over the past decade. We'd like to see gambling clinics on a firmer footing across the country."

Liz Ritchie's son, Jack, took his own life when he was just 24 because of problems related to gambling. Following this she set up a charity called Gambling with Lives to understand more about gambling-related harm, particularly its impact on young men.

She spoke passionately at the event about the need for more gambling clinics to help young men such as Jack.

Patient Owen Baily spoke of how the clinic had helped him to beat his addiction. "As with the nature of addiction I have since encountered a couple of relapses but the National Problem Gambling Clinic has never ever shut the door and have always provided me with further support when needed to assist me in getting back on track.

"On behalf of the hundreds if not thousands of people affected by gambling who in the past 10 years have accessed the support on offer at The National Problem Gambling Clinic, I want to finish by expressing my deepest thanks and gratitude to Dr Bowden Jones and her team, past and present for the literally life-saving work that you all do."

Kate Lampard CBE, Chair of GambleAware added: "We're pleased to support the work CNWL is doing to help those who are suffering from gambling addiction. Our overall mission is to reduce gambling related harm, and we will continue to work in partnership with the NHS and other public health providers to make sure suitable support is available for the most vulnerable."

Editors' notes

The National Problem Gambling Clinic is currently funded by GambleAware. 

The picture shows from left to right: Clinic founder and director Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, patient Owen Baily and the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

For more details:

Contact: Senior Communications Officer Jeremy Dunning on 0203 214 5756 or


Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Stephenson House, 75 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2PL
Tel: 020 3214 5756