VODG 180A new paper released by the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) has claimed that "the continued squeeze of austerity has led to social care markets, worth over £20 billion per year, being fragmented and unstable".

The report, launched at VODG's annual conference (12 October), considered the question of how third sector disability and care organisations are responding to funding and commissioning pressures.

VODG chief executive Rhidian Hughes said: "As we await the Autumn Statement there is no shying away from the fact that people are using care services at a time of unprecedented austerity. The continued squeeze on fees has led to social care markets, worth over £20 billion per year, being fragmented and unstable. Without adequate funding voluntary organisations will exit the market causing further market instability.

"Despite this stringent operating context, there are opportunities for improved collaboration between social care providers. Our member chief executives are reframing relationships with commissioners, seeking to improve communication and finding ways to work together within an increasingly competitive sector."

The paper follows a joint sector statement about the social care funding gap made by commissioner and providers ahead of the Autumn Statement. Additional film clips from the roundtable event, which the paper is based on, are available at www.youtube.com/channel/UCMLyXQmw-JeSFb_EM_SYxqQ.

The event further explored issues including:
· Language and cultural barriers between third sector organiations and health and social care commissioners
· Approaches to negotiations with commissioners
· Perception of social care and its public image.

The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group represents over 80 leading voluntary sector and not-for-profit disability and care organisations.

To read the report in full visit www.vodg.org.uk