Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group: December 2018

Minutes from the December 2018 meeting of the Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group.

Welcome and introductions

1. The Chair welcomed the group to the meeting. 

Minutes and SG update – previously circulated

2. CM confirmed there was a slight amendment required to the previously circulated minute. The minute explained that, after the recent DWP Judicial Review, payments would be made this year to those clients affected, this has been amended to reflect that payments began to be made this year. 

Scottish Government update

3. GW highlighted the upcoming Glasgow Population of Health report on embedding advice workers in GP surgeries with the aim of improving social and economic outcomes for people, through developing and testing approaches to delivering advice services from general practices in Parkhead, Glasgow. It also sought to reduce the time medical staff spent on non-clinical issues. GW highlighted some of the key outputs from the project. Across the nine practices involved, clients involved had, on average, seen an increase in their household income of almost £7k. GW explained that, after analysis, this meant that for every £1 spent on administration, £25 was generated for individual clients. GW asked how this work may be included in the review of advice services which was currently taking place. He confirmed that a link to the report, due to be published in January, will be forwarded to group members for information once completed.   

4. BS commented that there should be advocacy provision in place to support disabled people who needed help in accessing Best Start Grant (BSG), as well as other benefits coming soon but that the level of advocacy support needed was not currently available. Whilst he understood that the majority of demand for support will come when Disability Benefits are devolved, there will still be a number of disabled people who require advocacy support to access the social security system now.

Action points:

  • Dean to speak with Advocacy policy lead to highlight the issue and provide answer to BS
  • DP to forward link to the Glasgow Centre for Population Health to policy lead on implementing advice service review recommendations, the policy lead responsible for promoting benefit uptake and to group members upon publication

Child DLA/PIP/AA walkthrough sessions: what is ‘safe and secure’ transition

5. CM outlined the proposed format for the ‘benefit walkthrough’ sessions. The group split into three smaller groups. Policy leads for each of the three benefits involved (Child DLA, PIP and AA) then provided colleagues with a walkthrough on what is meant by a ‘safe and secure’ transfer of benefits to Scotland as it applies to rules, eligibility and decision making. Each policy lead rotated to ensure that, by the end of the full session, members had received walkthrough sessions on the three benefits, including a number of cross cutting policy areas. Discussion points were collated separately and will be used to inform further policy consideration.

AOB and agenda for next meeting

6. CM thanked members for attending. The next meeting is scheduled for June 2019 (date and time tbc) and will be held at Victoria Quay, Edinburgh.

Attendees and apologies


  • Claire McDermott, Chair, Scottish Government (CM)
  • Donna Burnett, NHS Public Health Practitioner (DB)
  • Richard Gass, Rights Advice Scotland
  • Emilia Crichton, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Caroline Keir, Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association  (CK)
  • Graham Watt, University of Glasgow (GW)
  • Bill Scott, Inclusion Scotland (BS)
  • Gill Young, Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association  (GY)
  • Rob Gowans, Citizens Advice Scotland (RG)
  • Dr Mini Mishra, Scottish Government (MM)
  • David Martin, Scottish Government (DM)
  • Dean Pemberton, Scottish Government (DP)
  • James Wilson, Scottish Government (JW)
  • Claire Henderson, Scottish Government (CH)
  • Louise Whyte, Scottish Government (LW)
  • Nathan Gayle, Scottish Government (NG)
  • Frances Haggarty, Scottish Government (FH)


  • Ronnie Hill, Disabled Children and Young People Advisory Group
  • Kate Burton, NHS Lothian
  • Yvette Burgess, Coalition of Care and support Providers Scotland
  • Ed Pybus, Child Poverty Action Group
  • Jim Hume, National Rural Mental Health Forum
  • Jim Carle, Disabled Children and Young People Advisory Group
  • Annie Gunnar Logan, Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland
  • Garrick Smyth, COSLA
  • Neil MacRitchie, British Medical Association
  • Layla Theiner, Disability Agenda Scotland



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