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Minutes for SIG meeting (Scotland) - 25 January 2021

Time: 13:00 – 15:00

Location: Microsoft Teams

Chair: Phil Mackie, ScotPHN


  • Linda de Caestecker (LdC) (NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde)
  • Mike Callaghan (MC) (COSLA)
  • Ann Conacher (AC) (ScotPHN)
  • Cath Cooney (CC) (ABSG/Advisory Board for Safer Gambling))
  • Michelle Gillies (MG) (ScotPHN)
  • William Griffiths (WG) (ALLIANCE)
  • Ryan Hughes (RH) (ScotPHN)
  • Mark McAllister (MA) (COSLA)
  • Inspector Kenny Ramsay (KR) (Police Scotland)
  • Sara Redmond (SR) (ALLIANCE)
  • Helen Rhodes (HR) (Gambling Commission)
  • Fiona Stewart (FS) (SOLAR)

Gambling Commission staff names other than for Leadership Team members have been redacted

Opening remarks

The Chair opened the call. Introductions were made and apologies were noted.

1. Minutes from the last meeting

The Group went through the minutes from the previous meeting and agreed that this was an accurate reflection of the meeting.

Action: Gambling Commission to publish minutes on the website.

2. Updates on progress and developments since the last meeting

Individual members of the Group provided updates on projects and activity since the Group last met in September 2020, this included the impact of COVID on delivery.

MC shared COSLA’s work on an initiative to address gambling harms that is in its scoping stage with partners including SOLACE, the Gambling Commission and SOLAR. MC asked the group to share details of any similar projects so that activities could be co-ordinated. WG noted that the ALLIANCE Lived Experience Forum would be happy to engage with co-production of resources and training.

MG gave an update on the Glasgow Project noting the successful roundtable event with health and social care partners, which focused on treatment pathways, followed by a national event for understanding, measuring and monitoring gambling related harms. The idea is to assess local priorities but also raise awareness through national networks.

The Group went through the actions of previous meetings that were identified as needing updates on. These updates are:

  • KR from Police Scotland has liaised with the Children’s and Young Person’s lead and notes that they are very interested in being involved with the work of the Strategy Implementation Group. KR to continue to feed any CYP issues from Police Scotland into the SIG
  • HR highlighted that the Commission would shortly publish an update of the actions map which would allow partners to search project activity. It was noted that contributing to the actions map is an ongoing and regular action for the Group. The Group agreed that a review of the actions map to identify gaps and priorities for Scotland should be included as a standing item on the agenda for future meetings. CC noted that the map has been a useful tool for ABSG in considering the progress report advice to the Commission.

Action: Gambling Commission and the Chair to formalise the process for the standing item of reviewing the actions map to discuss gaps and priorities of the Group.

  • all other February outstanding actions were closed off
  • The Chair had discussed the Gambling Act Review with Scottish Government representatives. Scottish Government colleagues had not yet been able to share the detail of how they wish to approach the consultation response.

Action: The Chair to bring Gambling Act review back to the attention of Scottish Government and feed consultation responses to the Group.

  • SCOTPHN to continue to chair but this to be reviewed at a later stage
  • a representative from the Scottish Government was unable to join this session to discuss the suicide prevention strategy. It was agreed to postpone the agenda item until the next meeting.

Action: Agenda item on suicide prevention to be held at next meeting.

Discussion moved on to the latest Terms of Reference draft. The Group suggested further amendments to the document to clearly highlight the role and purpose of the Group and its relationship with other partners of the National Strategy.

Action: Gambling Commission to make amendments to the TOR document and draft to be shared with the Group.

It was noted that Declaration of Interest process was previously raised by the Group and that any declarations made would be shared by the Commission on behalf of the Group on the National Strategy hub website. The Group agreed with the current drafting but suggested simplifying the wording. The Chair encouraged members to complete the forms.

Action: Gambling Commission to make amendments to the DOI document and draft to be shared with the Group.

3. Report and discussion on measuring gambling harms in Scotland

MG reflected on the roundtable on measuring and monitoring gambling harms in Scotland that ScotPHN hosted on 16 December 2020. Its purpose was to scope what data was currently held, and what data could be built upon in the longer term by measuring and monitoring. This needed to be done at a national level as well as locally, to enable any outcomes to be more effectively actioned.

There was a broad representation from statutory bodies, academics, ABSG, Gambling Commission and PHE (Public Health England). The overall view was that there would be merit in exploring the role of PHS (Public Health Scotland) who would be well placed in building a sustainable public health surveillance via a series of small projects, such as data linkage with the Scottish Health Survey.

The academics who joined the roundtable suggested the creation of a national question bank where pro-forma questions could be created that focused on the key aspects of harms and that could be adopted in various national and potentially local surveys. This would bring in a whole new separate set of academic partners.

The next steps are to continue conversations, trying to identify what kind of development support is needed building on a coordinated approach that keeps the academic community on board. The Group suggested it might be possible to build this work within the organisational transformation process at PHS.

Action: Members of the Group to approach RH/MG at ScotPHN if they would like to become involved in the measuring gambling harms in Scotland work.

4. Lived Experience engagement – what it looks like

WG last updated the Group in September when the ALLIANCE outlined their work to establish a lived experience forum. This forum is now functioning with an agreed set of TOR and the Three Horizons map which outlines priority areas.

Within the forum, people with lived experience have raised the priority areas they would like to focus on, such as education, treatment pathways, and an awareness within key professional groups like GPs and debt advisors.

An evaluation report is upcoming which will assess any learnings of the engagement from the first year and this will also set out a course going forward. WG noted that further discussion on how the forum could feed into the work of the SIG, and vice versa would be helpful.

The Group noted the significance that the forum could have for the SIG, as well as other lived experience groups such as the ones within the criminal justice setting to help the Group in raising awareness of activity and gaps. It was also highlighted that frontline workers are a key group of people to engage with as they have direct contact with those with lived experience and can share understanding.

The Group stressed the importance of safeguarding the people with lived experience when we are working with them, and when we direct them to other organisations.

Action: All to review the supporting materials for this item and direct any further questions to WG.

5. Agree next steps and plans for future meetings

The next meeting to be held within 3 months - to reflect the quarterly timetable agreed at the meeting.

The key actions identified were:

  • Gambling Commission to publish minutes on the website
  • Gambling Commission, the Chair and CC to consider how to produce a mechanism for reviewing their actions map in real time
  • the Chair to bring Gambling Act review back to the attention of Scottish Government and feed consultation responses to the Group
  • agenda item on suicide prevention to be held at next meeting
  • Gambling Commission to make amendments to the TOR document and draft to be shared with the Group
  • Gambling Commission and CC to make amendments to the DOI document, and draft to be shared with the Group
  • members of the Group to approach RH/MG at ScotPHN if they would like to become involved in the measuring gambling harms in Scotland work
  • all to review the supporting materials for this item and direct any further questions to WG.

The themes agreed for discussion at the next meeting were:

  • suicide prevention – Scottish Government action plan
  • lived experience engagement – Police Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit
  • actions map review and discussion of gaps and priorities
  • Gambling Act Review.

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