Minutes for SIG meeting (Scotland) - 27 July 2021
Time: 10:00 – 12:00
Location: Microsoft Teams
Chair: Phil Mackie, ScotPHN
- Mike Callaghan (MC) (COSLA)
- Ann Conacher (AC) (ScotPHN)
- Anna van der Gaag (AvdG) (Substituting for Cath Cooney - ABSG)
- Michelle Gillies (MG) (ScotPHN)
- Sara Redmond (SR) (ALLIANCE)
- Helen Rhodes (HR) (Gambling Commission)
- T/Inspector Geoffrey Smith (GS) (Police Scotland)
- Zoe Osmond (ZO) (GambleAware) (For that Item on the agenda)
- Dr Jane Rigbye (JR) (GambleAware) (For that Item on the agenda)
Gambling Commission staff names other than for Leadership Team members have been redacted.
1. Opening remarks
1.1 The Chair opened the meeting. Introductions were made and apologies were noted.
2. Minutes from the last meeting
2.1 The Group went through the minutes from the previous meeting, and these were agreed.
Action: Gambling Commission to publish the meeting minutes on their website.
2.2 The Chair sought an update on whether members had completed their Declaration of Interests. The Chair reminded members that these should be completed.
Action: GC to recirculate the DOI forms for completion to those members who had not yet done so.
2.3 The Chair sought clarification as to whether all the materials relating to the presentation on Suicide Prevention had been circulated.
Action: GC to check whether any information on Suicide Prevention was outstanding following the previous meeting.
3. Updates on progress and developments since the last meeting
3.1 The Group went through the actions from the last meeting, all administrative actions were signed off.
3.2 It was agreed to review the Group’s Terms of Reference twelve months after their formal adoption (which had happened at the last meeting).
3.3 Gambling Act Review – It was discussed that the Group had shared their responses to the Government’s Review of the Gambling Act 2005 to all members. The Group noted that the Government has announced that the White Paper would be published by the end of the year. The Group discussed their understanding that the white paper would represent a policy position and would not include draft legislation which was likely to follow at a later stage. HR explained that the Commission expected to be requested to provide advice to Ministers as part of the review process.
Action: The group to consider how it could inform the Gambling Act Review process to ensure that issues specific to Scotland were communicated.
3.4 Next steps on the National Strategy - HR confirmed that the priorities of the National Strategy remain current, and the Commission intended to publish information on its website confirming its intention to continue to collaborate with partners to reduce gambling harms and to play its role in the Strategy’s enablers beyond the life of the original timeframe for the National Strategy.
3.5 ABSG Progress report on the National Strategy – AvdG reported that the second annual Progress Report had recently been published. She stressed the progress that had been delivered by the Commission in specific areas like games design, affordability, and the establishment of the Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP).
3.6 The ABSG had highlighted the need for improvement through the delivery of an NHS treatment strategy, although there were early signs of progress on this. The publication of the Public Health England Evidence Review to inform this was still awaited. The ABSG was still clear in its view that a statutory levy was necessary to fund gambling treatment and research into harms. It was noted this would require a specific delivery mechanism in Scotland given the structure of devolution. She noted the work in Scotland on NHS metrics for recording gambling harms and suggested this meant Scotland was well-placed to make progress on the issue.
3.7 The Chair thanked AvdG for giving him sight of a draft version of the report to comment on prior to its publication. The Group discussed and agreed that wider engagement with the members of the group could be built into the process for the next annual progress report.
4. Feedback from NS Actions Map in Scotland Workshop – June 2021
4.1 Discussion on this item was delayed and the Chair agreed to provide information in writing instead.
5. Gambling Treatment in Scotland
5.1 ZO and JR from GambleAware (GA) joined the meeting for this item and provided an update on GA’s treatment provision and their plans for activity in Scotland. GA had just launched its new organisational strategy which was based on a public health model using a whole systems approach to collaboration. This had been developed in response to a gap analysis of services using its funding. GA’s strategic priorities are to accelerate engagement and awareness, transform treatment capacity and capability by collaborating, increasing equity and championing diversity, and to deliver best in class commissioning.
5.2 ZO highlighted the low uptake of treatment provision from Scotland which they would seek to address. Statistics from the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) in Scotland for 2019/20 showed that 295 people had accessed treatment. Pathways into treatment needed to be improved. Similarly, although those needing help could access treatment services in Scotland and residential treatment services elsewhere in GB, this was also not viewed as adequate in responding to people's needs. GA had funding earmarked for the creation of a treatment clinic in Scotland and was engaging with partners to discuss how best to try and take this forward. They were discussing with Public Health Scotland how to share treatment data to inform improvement of treatment provision and treatment pathways in Scotland.
5.3 GA acknowledged the difficulty in engaging with health partners given that GA were funded by the gambling industry, albeit they stressed that their board and trustees were made up of individuals not drawn from the industry and instead from health and wider public service.
5.4 GA were in the process of redesigning their treatment provision and this was an on-going process which they expected to have completed by March 2023. They highlighted their wider activity funding projects delivered in Scotland and in delivering better research to help inform action including their recently launched treatment and need maps covering all of GB.
5.5 ZO and JR concluded that GA was keen to engage with partners in Scotland including the SIG for Scotland to ensure that they better delivered services and projects which better met the needs of people requiring support and help.
5.6 ZO and JR left the meeting.
Action: GambleAware’s presentation to be shared with members of the group.
6. Gambling Treatment in Scotland - Discussion
6.1 The group discussed the presentation and noted that any redesign of service provision may generate requests for funding to public sector bodies, including the NHS and local authorities and that partners should be aware of this possibility.
6.2 The group agreed that there needed to be sustainable exit strategies for funded projects where funding was not continued from its original source.
6.3 There was a discussion about the commissioning of treatment services using funding which originated from the gambling industry and how this related to the provision of necessary services. AvdG repeated ABSG’s position that there was a need for a statutory levy to fund treatment with this being overseen independently.
6.4 Members noted that there may be a reticence about accessing treatment for gambling harms which may not be the case with treatment for other harms like alcohol misuse where treatment was more locally accessible.
Action: Group to identify strands for further discussion with GA in terms of the gaps in treatment.
7. Agree next steps and plans for future meetings
7.1 MC reported back on the progress around the Gambling Harms pilot being developed by COSLA in collaboration with SOLACE and the Commission. He asked that partners feedback on the draft Project Initiation Document (PID) for the project given their specific expertise.
Action: The COSLA Gambling Harms pilot PID to be shared with members of the group who were asked to provide feedback on it.
7.2 The Chair highlighted the forthcoming Glasgow Summit and asked that members of the group consider what support they could offer as part of the event by contributing to panels and delivering workshops. GC had already been suggested as providing input to a workshop.
Action: Members of the group to consider what support they could offer to the Glasgow Summit event in terms of contributing to panels and workshops.
7.3 Due to time constraints the Chair was unable to feedback on the conclusions from the workshop event on 1 June 2021. The Chair undertook to circulate feedback on this to members post the meeting.
Action: The Chair to circulate notes from the Actions Map workshop event on 1 June 2021 to members of the group.
7.4 The key actions identified were:
- Gambling Commission to publish the meeting minutes on their website
- GC to recirculate the DOI forms for completion to those members who had not yet done so
- GC to check whether any information on Suicide Prevention was outstanding following the previous meeting
- the group to consider how it could inform the Gambling Act Review process to ensure that issues specific to Scotland were communicated
- GambleAware’s presentation to be shared with members of the group
- the group to identify strands for further discussion with GA in terms of the gaps in treatment
- the COSLA Gambling Harms pilot PID to be shared with members of the group who were asked to provide feedback on it
- members of the group to consider what support they could offer to the Glasgow Summit event in terms of contributing to panels and workshops
- the Chair to circulate notes from the Actions Map workshop event on 1 June 2021 to members of the group.
7.5 No themes were agreed for discussion at the next meeting.