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GambleAware publishes Competency Framework for Primary Care Practitioners

The new Framework for is designed to describe the breadth of skills required by medical and non-medical practitioners to ensure the provision of safe, effective and high-quality support to those experiencing gambling harm.

London 11 June 2021: GambleAware has released a new Competency Framework for Primary Care Practitioners. The new framework is designed to describe the breadth of skills required by medical and non-medical practitioners to ensure the provision of safe, effective and high-quality support to those experiencing gambling harm.

Endorsed by the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), the framework seeks to address gaps in raising patient awareness and clinician confidence in the support that those who experience gambling harms can receive via the primary care pathway.

The framework is underpinned by four key aims:

  • Provide a set of professional competencies to assess, treat and manage those who experience gambling harm.
  • Support primary care, including GPs, to build the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to successfully identify and manage those experiencing gambling disorder.
  • Provide competencies that are tiered to ensure the role adequacy of the individual involved with gambling disorders.
  • Develop a curriculum of educational requirements and training programmes to equip the primary care team with the appropriate skills and knowledge.

The framework has been produced in consultation with eight other organisations, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), the Gambling Health Alliance (GHA) and is being led by the Primary Care Gambling Service (PCGS).

Speaking about the new Competency Framework, Professor Dame Clare Gerada, Chair of the NHS Assembly and Director of the Primary Care Gambling Service said: “It is vital that all primary care workers, including GPs and nurses, have the right tools and information needed to direct people who experience gambling harms to the help and support that is available. Gambling is often dubbed the hidden addiction, so we must raise awareness and responsiveness of gambling harms amongst healthcare practitioners going forward.”

Dr Victoria Tzortziou-Brown OBE, Joint Honorary Secretary for the Royal College of GPs, said: 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.”

Dr Jane Rigbye, Prevention Director at GambleAware 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.”  

The Competency Framework is available to read in full here.

The press release can be downloaded here.