The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has appointed Dr Anna van der Gaag as the new chair of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB).

She will join the RGSB as a member with immediate effect and take over the role of chair from Sir Christopher Kelly, whose term comes to an end next March.

Van der Gaag is a visiting professor of Ethics and Regulation at the University of Surrey and has held regulatory roles in the health, social care and legal sectors.

“It is with pleasure that we announce Dr Anna van der Gaag as the new chair of RGSB,” said UKGC chairman Bill Moyes. “She brings with her a wealth of experience in health, social care and the prevention of harm that will be an asset in advising on how to implement the next National Strategy, which will launch in April 2019 and on which we will shortly be consulting.”

Formerly chair of the Health and Care Professions Council, van der Gaag is a non-executive director at Health Education England and the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network. She is also a founding member of the Q Community, a quality improvement network led by the Health Foundation. She was awarded the CBE by the Queen in 2015 for services to health and care.

“Gambling-related harms are increasingly recognised as a public health issue requiring robust collective action," said van der Gaag. “I am thrilled by this opportunity to join a team with such a passionate commitment to understanding and reducing harms and raising awareness of the personal and societal costs that can arise from gambling activities."

Outgoing RGSB chair Kelly commented: “I am delighted to welcome Dr Anna van der Gaag as my successor. Anna’s strong background in research and regulation provides a solid foundation to provide authoritative advice on the next strategy and to achieve our aim - to reduce the impact of gambling-related harms, especially among the most vulnerable.”

The RGSB was set up in late 2008 to advise the UK Gambling Commission on research, education and treatment programmes to support a national responsible gambling strategy and associated funding requirements.