Minutes from SIG meeting (Wales) - 18 May 2021
Time: 14:00 – 16:00
Location: Microsoft Teams
Chair for the meeting: Helen Rhodes (HR) (Gambling Commission)
- Stephanie Barnhouse (SB) (Welsh Government)
- Claire Cotter (CC) (PHW/NHS Wales Health Collaborative)
- Graham England (GE) (ARA, for CJ Item only)
- Jo Evans (JE) (Greater Manchester Combined Authority)
- Susanna Field (SF) (Swansea University)
- Hermine Graham (HG) (ABSG)
- Neil Harding (NH) (G4S)
- Sarah Johns (SJ) (WLGA/Public Protection Services)
- Deborah Lewis (DL) (Welsh Government)
- Teresa Owen (TO) (PHW/Betsi Cadwaladr UHB)
- Neil Platt (NP) (Beacon Counselling Trust, for CJ Item only)
- Chief Inspector John Wainwright (JW) (South Wales Police)
- Simon Wilkinson (SW) (WLGA)
Gambling Commission staff names other than for Leadership Team members have been redacted.
Introductions were made, and members explained their role.
2. Minutes from the last meeting
The Group reviewed the minutes from the last meeting, and these were agreed. HR noted that the Commission were in the process of making the minutes of Strategy Implementation Group meetings available on the website, as well as updating the Actions Map which would include searchable information for projects in Wales.
Action: Gambling Commission to publish the minutes of previous meeting.
3. Updates on progress and developments since the last meeting
The Group went through the actions of previous meeting noting the outstanding actions and ongoing actions for future meetings.
The Chair referred to the finalised Terms of Reference and Declaration of Interest documents that were provided ahead of the meeting. Members were asked to complete the DOI form.
Action: Gambling Commission to share DOI form for members to complete.
The Chair provided a brief update on the Samaritans and GamCare Suicide Awareness and Prevention Training programme for the gambling industry that recently launched.
Action: Gambling Commission to share links to the Samaritans and GamCare training programme.
4. Gambling Act 2005 Review
SB provided an update on the Welsh Government’s activity on the Gambling Act Review. The Welsh Government’s focus would be on developing policy that would be specific to concerns in Wales.
SF noted that Professor Dymond had helped draft a response on behalf of other groups to the Gambling Act Review and will share the response with the Group.
Action: Members of the group to share any submissions that were made to the UK Government’s Review of the Gambling Act and the Gambling Commission to collate these on behalf of the Group.
5. Local Authority “Whole Systems Approach” to Gambling Harms – Manchester
Jo Evans from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) gave a presentation on the GMCA work to embed reducing gambling harm in existing local council, criminal justice, and public health activity. JE highlighted the LGA’s guidance on the ‘whole council approach’ to tackling harms as contributing to that. Members were keen to know how this related to activity in Wales to identify any lessons learned.
The Greater Manchester model focuses on addressing inequalities by integrating services around people, places, and their needs with a focus on prevention, developing models of support and working across disciplines to provide the skills to understand gambling harm.
This Public Health approach to gambling harm is informed by the best available evidence to offer individual to population level support. Working with Heather Wardle, the GMCA have used existing data from national surveys to provide local prevalence estimates. These datasets capture qualitative insights to describe the extent of gambling harms and the social costs.
In partnership with people of lived experience, they are redesigning treatment pathways to embed them into local health and care system to provide more available resources. JE noted that the primary care network needs better integrated with awareness raised to better signpost people dependant on needs and pathways. Covid had had an impact on the planned progress of activity in Greater Manchester.
JE highlighted challenges they have faced, such as the structural issues in getting data answering questions that have not been asked of partners before. Working with GM police and leads within mental health and crisis response teams is helping resolve these issues.
TO commented on the different health structures in Wales and the links to clusters of local GP practices as being an opportunity for a different type of collaboration. TO asked how the focus in GM on local authorities in delivering PH initiatives had been received by NHS partners. There was a need for more and better treatment pathways and signposting of treatments for gambling harms.
CC commented that gambling harms were often exhibited by people with lives complicated by other health issues which were often identified by primary care providers. This needed a co-ordinated approach towards treatment across a wider network of partners using a “hub” approach. JE commented that people should access treatment at the lowest most appropriate level.
Action: GMCA presentation slides to be shared with the Group, as well as JE contact details.
6. Criminal Justice – Opportunities for Action
NP from Beacon Counselling Trust and GE from ARA presented information about the extension of custody suite pilot projects which will be delivered partially in Wales with regulatory settlement funding, and on their other gambling support services.
The findings of the earlier custody suite pilots, and the work by the Howard League Commission on Crime and problem gambling suggest that early intervention and identification of gambling related harms is needed to prevent the escalation of crimes and more severe gambling harms. The new model of education and framework programme will be used to assess and help advise people in need. As well as upskilling as many people as possible who can then train others.
It was noted that the custody suite programme is not just about the gambler. Women are disproportionately impacted and are often accessing it as an ‘affected other’ rather than the ‘problem gambler.’ The presenters highlighted the need to talk about problem gambling in every community, reaching hard-to-reach groups and catching the attention of those least accessing treatment, such as women and the BAME communities.
NH commented on the work that has already been done in Wales with ARA and Beacon around their projects in addition to ARA’s treatment work.
TO highlighted the ACEs programme in Wales in the context of affected others and the work of Children’s Commissioner in Wales. There was a discussion about the potential for lessons learned from such work with children and young people to the gambling environment.
Actions: Beacon Counselling Trust presentation slides to be shared with the Group, as well as NP and GE contact details. The Group to consider how to bring lessons from ACEs work into gambling and to suggest possible presenters for future meetings on this topic/research area.
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
- Gambling Commission to share DOI form for members to complete
- Gambling Commission to share links to the Samaritans and GamCare training programme
- members of the group to share any submissions that were made to the UK Government’s Review of the Gambling Act and the Gambling Commission to collate these on behalf of the Group
- GMCA presentation slides to be shared with the Group, as well as JE contact details
- Beacon Counselling Trust presentation slides to be shared with the Group, as well as NP and GE contact details
- the Group to consider how to bring lessons from ACEs work into gambling and to suggest possible presenters for future meetings on this topic/ research area.
7.2 The themes agreed for discussion at future meetings were:
- ACEs programme – lessons that could be applied to gambling
- Professor Simon Dymond research related to ACEs.