A new NHS gambling clinic has opened in Sheffield, offering support to the growing number of people struggling with gambling addiction in the area.

Psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and peer support will all be available to people who use the service.

Adam Bradford, campaigner and creator of the gambling safety app, Bet Protect, told Sheffield Wire:

“I think it’s long overdue. We’ve always thought that there needed to be some support in the north, because there only used to be one place, which was in London and it had a very long waiting list, so I think the fact that more centres are being added is a good move – it means support will be accessible to more people.

“I think it was very needed, and unfortunately for a lot of people the specialist help hasn’t been there. There were Gamblers Anonymous groups where you could go and get peer-to-peer support, but if you really needed that more specialist help there wasn’t anything available.”

In a statement, NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said: “Gambling addiction is a cruel disease which has the power to destroy people’s lives, and as referrals continue to rapidly increase for these services, it is right that we increase the support available in line with demand.

“The opening of the new NHS gambling clinic is a significant milestone and amid record demand for help, it is timely for patients who desperately need this vital treatment.”

It is the 15th specialist clinic of its kind to be opened in the UK. Altogether, the clinics aim to treat 3,000 people a year.

The new clinic can be contacted via telephone on 0300 300 1490, or emailed at referral.ngs@nhs.net.