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Ms Ritchie pointed us to a report published in the British Medical Journal as long ago as January 2007,342 shortly before the Gambling Act 2005 came fully into force, in which the British Medical Association suggested that training in spotting gambling addiction should be provided for GPs because of the anticipated increase in the number of gambling addicts. Nothing, she said, had been done; there was still no training for GPs

Mr Ritchie added: “If a young man, in particular, goes to the doctor now and says he has anxiety, depression and sleeplessness, the first or second question should be about gambling.”

This was a point also made by Anna Hemmings, the Chief Executive of GamCare: “Training other professionals is also really important. If you go to your GP and say that you are depressed because you are in debt, do they ask about gambling? Do debt advisers ask about it?

Over the past couple of years, we have trained around 20,000 professionals with the view to trying to encourage them to ask a question.”344 20,000 sounds like a large number, but Ms Hemmings did not say how many of these professionals are GPs or other doctors, who are often the first port of call.


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