New taskforce to help voluntary sector get involved in health and social care

New taskforce to help voluntary sector get involved in health and social care


A new taskforce to help not-for-profit organisations pitch for health and social care work, was announced today by Care Services Minister Liam Byrne.

The taskforce will identify how to break down the barriers that stop third sector organisations, including the voluntary sector and not for profit social businesses, having a much greater involvement in delivering innovative person-centred health and social care services. 

Liam Byrne said:

‘We want to see services that ensure dignity for life, that promote independent living, and that guarantee a flying start in life. 

‘The third sector, including voluntary sector and other not for profit social enterprises have shown themselves to be innovative, efficient and effective, and are often well connected within their communities.  They are key to providing a choice of health and social care services to local communities and I would like to strengthen their role in involving local people in shaping the services they want, and in unleashing creativity and innovation, in delivering these core services. ‘

‘To harness the full potential of the third sector, we need to transform our relationship with the sector so that it truly reflects our vision of partnership.  We need to build on existing practice and provide additional flexible approaches to ensure the third sector have a central role in delivery.’

Jo Williams, Chief Executive, Mencap and Co-Chair of the taskforce said:

‘This is a real opportunity for the third sector to work together to ensure that services are shaped by the voice of the consumer, cost effective, flexible and creative.’

An initial working group, co- chaired by Victor Adebowale of Turning Point, and Ken Anderson at the Department of Health, will be looking at the barriers to effective relationships between the third sector and service commissioners. They will be giving their interim conclusions by the end of November, so that it can feed into the work going on to inform forthcoming ‘White Paper, Your health, your care, your say’.

The members are the taskforce are:

Third Sector Members

John Low (RNID)

Cliff Prior (Rethink)

Virginia Beardshaw (ICAN)

Stephen Burke (Counsel and Care)

Iain Henderson (Sue Ryder Care)

Victor Adebowale (Turning Point)

Clare Tickell (NCH)

Tom Hughes-Hallett (Marie Curie Cancer Care)

Jonathan Bland (Social Enterprise Coalition)

DH Members

Ken Anderson (Commercial Director)

Flora Goldhill (Head of UE&I and Chair of Task Force Project Board)

Antony Sheehan (Care Services Director)

ODPM and Local Government

Mark Upton (ODPM, Local Government Directorate)

Elaine McHale, Director of Social Services Wakefield


Gill Morgan (NHS Confederation)

Melinda Letts (NSPF)

Richard Gutch (Futurebuilders)

David Walden (CSCI)

The National Strategic Partnership Forum (NSPF) will make a significant contribution to the work of the Taskforce itself.  As reference group to the Task Force, the NSPF will be informing and contributing expert knowledge, as well as helping to ensure the outputs of the Task Force reflect and complement the NSPF’s overall Statement of Purpose and work plan.

Source: Department of Health