The NHS has opened its first clinic designed for the treatment of addiction to video games.

The specialist clinic will treat children and young adults addition to video games, and whose lives are adversely affected by the time spent playing.

GPs will now be able to refer patients they believe are affected to the service from today, with treatment starting next month.

The London clinic will be part of the National Centre for Behavioural Addictions, based in London, and will be hosted by the Central and North West London mental health.

Those outside the capital who are reffered will be able to attend in person and will have the option of a consultation over video call.

“Health needs are constantly changing, which is why the NHS must never stand still. This new service is a response to an emerging problem, part of the increasing pressures that children and young people are exposed to these days,” said Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England.

In 2017 The World Health Organization began to recognise the effect of what it calls “gaming disorder” as a medical condition and last year classified it as such.

The makers of popular online multiplayer game Fortnite, Epic Games, is currently facing a class action lawsuit from a Canadian law firm for “knowingly” making its most popular title addictive.