Lancashire health trust signs charter to help combat problem gambling
Companies and their staff in Lancashire are to get help dealing with problem gambling thanks to a new charter signed by the local health body.
Working with Unite the Union, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust is the first NHS organisation to sign a new Workplace Charter which aims to help some of the 400,000 problem gamblers in the UK.
David Eva, chairman of LSCFT said:“I am proud to be able to sign this Charter today on behalf of our Trust and alongside our fantastic partners from Unite and Beacon Counselling Trust and representatives from our staff side Unions.
"This charter signifies our commitment as an employer to support our staff. We hope that other employers will also join us in tackling this issue that many find hard to raise with family or friends and often fear losing their employment if they raise it at work.
“Supporting our workforce is vital, and we are fully committed to this new Charter, which will enable us to sensitively help any team members struggling with harmful gambling.”
Key members of LSCFT staff and union representatives will be trained to offer support to staff. The Trust works with Beacon Counselling Trust to provide specialist support to anyone who feels that gambling is having a negative impact on their lives.
Harmful gambling can be the cause of and contributor to, short and long term ill health. It is estimated that there are 400,000 problem gamblers in the UK*, and many more experiencing harms as a result.
The health trust said that problem gamblers are: more than twice as likely to have visited their GP in the last 12 months with a mental health issue than others, are eight times more likely to be accessing mental health services. are five times more likely to have been a hospital inpatient within the last three months and are four times more likely to be in prison than the general population.