NHS executive among new GambleAware trustees

5 October 2018

GambleAware has moved to position its board as wholly independent of the gambling industry by appointing two new trustees from outside the sector.

Paul Simpson, chief finance officer and deputy chief executive of the Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, will now become a trustee, as will Marcantonio Spada, Professor of Addictive Behaviours and Mental Health at London South Bank University.

Simpson has served in a number of senior finance roles across a range of local NHS Trusts and will offer healthcare and financial management experience, according to the charity.

Spada currently heads up the Division of Psychology and is Deputy Lead of the Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research at the university. GambleAware said it will draw on his experience “in working to identify factors that influence various addictive behaviours”.

The double appointment comes as Alan Jamieson and Brigid Simmonds opted to retire from their respective terms of service as trustees.

Kate Lampard, chair of trustees at GambleAware, said: “We are delighted that Marcantonio and Paul have agreed to become trustees of GambleAware. Between them, they bring strong experience in addiction, public health, finance and risk management.

“GambleAware’s Board is now wholly independent of the gambling industry, and we believe this is necessary to secure public trust and confidence given our central role in commissioning research, education and treatment services.

“Trustees continue to call for a statutory levy on the gambling industry to ensure research, education and treatment services are adequately and sustainably funded.

“In the meantime, we will continue to pursue our charitable objectives to reduce gambling-related harm within the government-prescribed voluntary donation-based system currently in place, and we are confident that this can and ought to be achieved without the need for anyone employed by a gambling company to have a seat on the board.”

Last month, GambleAware announced details of a new initiative with Citizens Advice whereby the two organisations will commit £1.5m (€1.7m/$2m) towards a joint effort focusing on educating debt advisers about gambling-related harm.

The new partnership marked the latest step in GambleAware’s ongoing efforts to tackle problem gambling after the charity also declared its backing for new Gambling Commission-backed research into the issue.

GambleAware has registered a spike in voluntary industry donations over the past year.

Image: James Adams