UK Prime minister Theresa May reveals plans to open gambling addiction clinics

Prime Minister Theresa May will target gambling addicts as part of her £20.5billion NHS shake-up.

They will be among the extra 380,000 adults and 350,000 young people given access to mental health services over the next five years.

The NHS has only one facility to treat people hooked on betting, in Fulham, south-west London.

But with 400,000 problem gamblers and two million at risk, the PM has ordered Health Secretary Matt Hancock to open more of them.

Most addicts fall foul of high-stakes gaming machines in bookmakers.

From April, £100 maximum bets will be slashed and capped at £2.

Labour would go further. Deputy leader Tom Watson said gambling operators should contribute to the cost of NHS treatment for addicts.

He added: “Gambling companies have to take more responsibility for harm caused by their products.”

Under Mrs May’s Long Term Plan for the NHS, an extra £20.5billion will be spent on the health service by 2023.

All hospital in-patients will be screened for tobacco use and alcohol abuse and any offenders given help.

The PM has also pledged safer maternity units and promised to give older people more say on their healthcare.

Her plan, due to be unveiled before Christmas, was postponed so Mrs May could face Tory Brexit rebels. She is now due to launch it this Sunday on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show.

She said: “The launch of the NHS Long Term Plan marks an historic step to secure its future.”

Dame Donna Kinnair, of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “The NHS is already short of more than 40,000 nurses and the figure is rising.

“The Government must urgently address this to make the plan a success.”