Adebowale calls for health sector umbrella body

Francois Le Goff

Turning Point chief executive Victor Adebowale wants to create an umbrella body for health and social care charities that would be responsible for dealing with the Government on issues of contracting and full-cost recovery.

"I know there are already too many umbrella bodies in the sector, but this would be a trade body, not a lobbying one," he said. Adebowale, who sits on the National Strategic Partnership Forum, which promotes partnership working between the public and voluntary sectors, said the new body should not be open to the public sector.

His comments came as care services minister Liam Byrne announced the formation of a taskforce whose aim is to identify the obstacles that stand in the way of charities that bid for public service contracts. Byrne said the taskforce, which will report in November, would pay attention to whether administration costs for charity sector providers can be reduced.

But Kaleidoscope Project chief executive Martin Blakebrough said the initiative fails to address the issues charities are concerned about.

He said that far from cutting costs, his social inclusion charity needed to invest more in staff to keep proper files on its clients and make sure its policy was up to scratch.

Blakebrough also dismissed Byrne's other announcement, of a Department of Health investment of £250m in research into social care projects, as a waste of money.

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