Working with Unite the Union, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCft) is the first NHS organisation to sign a new Workplace Charter, which will help employers and trade unions support employees and their family members who may be experiencing harm as a result of gambling.
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.
Problems gamblers are:
- 2.69 times more likely to have visited their GP in the last 12 months with a mental health issue
- 8.54 times more likely to be accessing mental health services
- 5.53 times more likely to have been a hospital inpatient within the last 3 months
- 4.4 times more likely to be in prison than the general population (IPPR 2016)
David Eva, chair of LSCft explains:
“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 supported and trained to offer support and signposting to staff as the Charter is implemented.
The Trust works with Beacon Counselling Trust to provide specialist support to anyone who feels that gambling is having a negative impact on their life or family.