Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group meeting minutes: September 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 5 May 2022

Attendees and apologies


  • Nathan Gale, Chair, Scottish Government
  • Danielle Ariyo-Francis, Scottish Government 
  • Nicola Callaghan, Social Security Scotland 
  • Christopher Cameron, Scottish Government
  • Janey Crighton, Scottish Government
  • Jack Donald, Scottish Government
  • Moira Escreet, CPAG
  • Catherine Henry, Scottish Government
  • Catherine Hoult, Scottish Government 
  • Margaret Kane-Dickson, NHS 
  • Leanne Kerr, Scottish Government 
  • Maddy Kirkman, Inclusion Scotland
  • Shonagh Martin, Scottish Government 
  • Stephanie Miller, Citizen’s Advice Scotland 
  • Stefania Pagani, Scottish Government
  • Gill Young, Castle Rock Edinvar


  • Kate Burton, NHS
  • Emilia Crighton, NHS
  • John Cunnigham, CoSLA 
  • Richard Gass, Rights Advice Scotland
  • Jim Hume, Support in Mind Scotland
  • Laura Kerr, Social Work Scotland 
  • Gerard McFeely, NHS
  • Duncan McIntyre, Chair of Learning Disability Practice Network
  • Dr Mini Mishra, Scottish Government
  • Cate Vallis, RNIB

Items and actions


Chair, Nathan Gale, welcomed members to the 25th meeting of the Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group. 

Minutes and Scottish Government update

Members noted that a member’s name had been misspelled and that another member had been added to the attendee list mistakenly. The minutes will be updated to reflect these changes and will be published on the Scottish Government website.

Members did not have any comments on the Scottish Government update paper. 

Presentation on how the Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland gathers and uses feedback on disability assistance.

Scottish Government officials gave members a presentation on how the Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland gathers and uses feedback on disability assistance. This covered information on the data collected and how this is used, lessons learned, external feedback methods, and experience panels. 

Members asked whether third party organisations should send the editable PDF application form directly to the client for signature or if they should post it to Social Security Scotland who will then post it to the client. Officials confirmed that this can be done either way depending on what is most suitable for the third party organisation. It was also confirmed that officials are currently looking into other solutions to sharing the form, such as email or uploading to a secure place.  

Members shared that clients are having issues getting support and advice from DWP now that Adult Disability Payment has launched and asked if officials are working with DWP to improve this. Officials confirmed that they are aware of this issue and are working to prevent this through regular contact with DWP. 

Members were pleased with the work being done and asked whether this could be publicised more widely to make more people aware of the improvements that have been made. Officials will share this suggestion with Social Security Scotland colleagues.  

Members also shared that advisors having to use translation services is very time consuming and asked whether the forms could be made available in alternative languages meaning only the clients answers would have to be translated. Officials will feed this back to the relevant team. 

Presentation on Disability Assistance Evaluation Strategy

Stefania Pagani, Senior Research Officer gave members a presentation on the Disability Assistance Evaluation Strategy, which assesses the policy impact of devolved disability benefits and the actions and steps that have been taken by Social Security Scotland. 

Members did not have any questions or comments following this presentation. 

Any other business and close 

Nathan confirmed that an additional meeting will be held in November 2022 covering the Adult Disability Payment review, Pension Age Disability Payment (PADP), and Employment Injury Assistance (EIA). 

Nathan thanked members for attending the meeting and closed. 

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