NHS head calls for better protection from online gaming harms

The NHS says it is responding to an'emerging problem

The NHS says it is responding to an'emerging problem

The call came from Stewart Kenny, a founder of bookmaker Paddy Power, and former sports minister Tracey Crouch, who resigned over delays to a crackdown on maximum stakes for fixed-odds betting machines.

He said: "It is normalising gambling for children and that is unsafe".

Children who have gaming addictions often become socially isolated, can lack necessary hours of sleep due to playing through the night, and can have their educations threatened due to the inappropriate amount of time they dedicate to playing games.

However, the Royal college of Nursing (RCN) has responded today calling for more responsibility on gaming firms rather than the NHS.

Last summer, HEXUS reported upon the World Health Organisation (WHO) including "gaming disorder" in its newly published International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD) handbook. "We lost three years of our son's life and, more importantly, we lost our way as well".

The disorder may manifest itself through "impaired control over gaming", increasingly putting video games ahead of other "life interests and activities", and continuing to put in long play sessions despite obvious negative consequences in matters of "personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning".

As health needs change, so does the NHS, said chief executive Simon Stevens.

Stevens added that the games industry also has a responsibility to its users to prevent addiction.

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The NHS said other countries grappling with internet and gaming addiction had taken other steps to protect children.

He quoted other countries that had banned under-16s from online gaming after midnight.

As part of the National Center for Behavioral Addictions in London, the clinic is the first of its kind. Children and young people are constantly exposed to it these days.

Up to 14 new adult NHS gambling clinics are being opened across the UK.

Following a nine-month investigation, the United Kingdom parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee recommended last month that the British government should regulate loot boxes under gambling law, accusing the games industry of a "lack of honesty and transparency", giving the government grounds to "question what these companies have to hide".

Global Positioning System and other health professionals in England will be able to refer those aged between 13 - 25 who may be displaying the above symptoms for treatment, reports The Guardian.

The NHS is a taxpayer funded service that is free at the point of care, and with the NHS already suffering from a shortage of mental health nurses and doctors, there are some concerns about the staffing of the new service.

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