Taskforce to help the sector pitch for work

Anita Pati

A new taskforce to help not-for-profit organisations pitch for health and social care work was officially announced on Monday by Liam Byrne, the care services minister.

The taskforce has been set up to identify the barriers to the voluntary sector delivering more public sector health and social care services.

The move is an attempt to put the voluntary sector on the same footing as the private sector.

The nine voluntary sector members include John Low of RNID, Cliff Prior of Rethink, Victor Adebowale of Turning Point and Clare Tickell of NCH.

Jo Williams, chief executive of Mencap and co-chair of the taskforce, said: "This is a real opportunity for the third sector to work together as a whole to ensure services are shaped by the voice of the consumer, and are cost-effective, flexible and creative."

Adebowale is co-chairing the initial working group, which will do scoping work into how to build effective relationships between the charities and service commissioners. This will report at the end of November to feed into the taskforce's work.

The National Strategic Partnership Forum, on which Adebowale also sits, will serve as the taskforce's reference and support group.

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