Minutes for SIG meeting (Wales) - 24 August 2021
Time: 14:00 – 16:00
Location: Microsoft Teams
Chair for the meeting: Helen Rhodes (HR) (Gambling Commission - GC)
- Claire Cotter (CC) (PHW/NHS Wales Health Collaborative)
- Professor Simon Dymond (SD) (Swansea University)
- Dr Hermine Graham (HG) (ABSG)
- Joanne Hopkins (JH) (ACEs Aware Wales)
- Deborah Lewis (DL) (Welsh Government)
- Teresa Owen (TO) (PHW/Betsi Cadwaladr UHB)
- Alice Puchades (AP) (PHW)
Gambling Commission staff names other than for Leadership Team members have been redacted.
1.1 Introductions were made, and members explained their role.
2. Minutes from the last meeting
2.1 The Group reviewed the minutes from the last meeting, and these were agreed. HR noted that the Implementation Group now have a page on the Commission website for the minutes to be published.
Action: Gambling Commission to publish the minutes of previous meeting.
3. Updates on progress and developments since the last meeting
3.1 The Group went through the actions of previous meeting noting the outstanding actions and ongoing actions for future meetings. SD noted that the Academics Forum for the study of gambling had provided a Gambling Act Review response, Dr Jim Rogers from the University of Lincoln would hold this.
Actions: Contact to be made with the University of Lincoln to get a copy of their response to the Gambling Act Review for circulation to the group. GC to contact WLGA colleagues in relation to the possible production of a version of the “whole council approach” to gambling harms document for Wales in the context of similar activity in Scotland. GC to clarify with GambleAware colleagues the point raised in relation to the applicability of their educational resources in relation to the Welsh curriculum.
3.2 The Group discussed what was known about the progress of the UK Government’s Gambling Act Review. There had been a significant level of response to the consultation. It was expected that the Commission would formally be asked by the UK Government to provide statutory advice on options for reform. Ministers had announced that a White Paper was intended to be published by the end of the year.
HR suggested taking Item 6 at this point in the meeting to allow for a broader discussion. This was agreed. HR welcomed Joanne Hopkins to the meeting.
6. ACE Aware Wales
6.1 Joanne Hopkins (JH), Director of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Support Hub presented to the Group what ACEs are, how they impact individuals, the community and how reducing gambling harms fits in to this work.
6.2 The root causes of ACEs include inequality, poverty, violence, which can lead to homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness. These adversities can be traumatic and can increase the risk of negative outcomes in later life. JH explained that a lot of these adversities are interlinked and can influence further experiences. Many adults in Wales have been exposed to more than one of these ACEs and have an increased risk of health harming behaviours such as being a victim or perpetrator of violence and are more likely to be incarcerated. People exposed to more ACEs are also less likely to have a good mental well-being.
6.3 This work takes a public health approach to identify risk and protective factors with the aim to provide maximum benefit for the largest number of people. The project is developing and testing prevention strategies and are monitoring its impact.
6.4 JH noted that every organisation in Wales has a part to play and creating an ACE aware trauma informed Wales will bring benefits to everyone. This approach means recognising that trauma experiences are a possibility for anyone and incorporating knowledge of ACEs/trauma into everything the organisation does and considering an individual’s early life experiences. This approach can enable a whole system response to vulnerability and help towards breaking the cycle of ACEs.
6.5 The Group discussed where gambling fitted in this area of work. It was necessary to talk about these experiences more often as there is more focus on the ‘big’ 10 ACEs. The Group noted that gambling harms could result in tension in the household along with other adverse effects highlighted in the presentation.
Actions: Teresa Owen to raise the ACEs work with a gambling harm focus with SB (Welsh Government) to see if this could be developed into other planned activity. Joanne Hopkins to raise with her Welsh Government contacts the possible broadening of their activity around ACEs to include gambling harms. GC to circulate the ACEs presentation slides to the Group.
4. Review of Actions Map activity in Wales
4.1 HR presented an overview of the National Strategy Actions Map and projects that had been notified by partners that were being undertaken in Wales. This item was intended to identify any gaps and opportunities for future activity in Wales. There are currently 18 projects on the actions map that are taking place or have been delivered in Wales. HR provided a more detailed update on the projects that are currently happening under the four enablers of the National Strategy.
4.2 Recent activity in Scotland was mentioned as being of interest to the Group and more detail of the SIG for Scotland’s work was provided.
Action: GC to share with members of the group the link to the “Glasgow Summit” on Gambling Harms.
4.3 TO mentioned that as part of the Welsh Government activity around delivering the recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer’s report on gambling harms that NHS colleagues in North Wales has been asked to produce proposals for gambling treatment support. This work was at an early stage, but colleagues in other parts of Wales were working on similar proposals including in Cardiff. HR suggested it would be useful for this activity to be added to the Actions Map in due course.
Action: TO to supply more detail on the NHS treatment activity for inclusion in the Actions Map when it is next updated.
4.4 SD reported that the GREAT Network are aiming to increase research capacity for gambling studies. The group are currently writing up their TOR and setting up a website. The group intended to host a conference on current advances in gambling research in April 2022 which would be part supported by GREO. SD noted the recent announcement by GambleAware that it was seeking academic partners to launch £4m gambling harm research hub.
4.5 TO commented that she still felt that there was a need for greater clarity about actual gambling harms in Wales and the needs this created for treatment and service response by partners. TO was interested in receiving more information about GambleAware’s Education Hub project activity in Wales.
Action: GC to get an update from GambleAware about the Education Hub project activity and share it with the group.
4.6 No gaps were identified during the discussion. Pathways into treatment were identified as an area of work that could be broadened for gambling harms. The Primary Care Gambling Service was highlighted as an organisation expanding on this work.
Action: GC to invite The Primary Care Gambling Service to a future meeting to discuss their work.
5. Policing, Criminal Justice and the National Strategy
5.1 Due to the Police representative not being able to attend for operational reasons, this agenda item was rolled over to next meeting.
7. Agree next steps and plans for future meetings
7.1 The key actions from the meeting were:
- Gambling Commission to publish the minutes of previous meeting
- contact to be made with University of Lincoln to get a copy of their response to the Gambling Act Review for circulation to the group
- GC to contact WLGA colleagues in relation to the possible production of a version of the “whole council approach” to gambling harms document for Wales in the context of similar activity in Scotland
- GC to clarify with GambleAware colleagues the point raised in relation to the applicability of their educational resources in relation to the Welsh curriculum
- TO to raise the ACEs work with a gambling harm focus with SB (Welsh Government) to see if this could be developed into other planned activity
- JH to raise with her Welsh Government contacts the possible broadening of their activity around ACEs to include gambling harms
- GC to circulate the ACEs presentation slides to the Group
- GC to share with members of the group the link to the “Glasgow Summit” on Gambling Harms
- TO to supply more detail on the NHS treatment activity for inclusion in the Actions Map when it is next updated
- GC to get an update from GambleAware about the Education Hub project activity and share it with the group
- GC to invite the Primary Care Gambling Service to a future meeting to discuss their work.
7.2 The themes agreed for discussion at future meetings were:
- policing, Criminal Justice and the National Strategy.