5 Minutes with Sharon Blackburn from National Care Forum

sharonblackburnWe spoke to Sharon Blackburn who is the Policy & Communications Director at NDAA member the National Care Forum on the work they are carrying out, what that is focussed on and our own Dementia-Friendly Hospitals campaign. NCF members are not-for-profit organisations in the care and support sector. NCF currently has over 100 member organisations providing a wide range of quality care and support services, including home care, residential and nursing care in care home settings, housing with care including supported living, extra-care and retirement living communities, day care, intermediate care, outreach care and support services and specialist provision for adults receiving advice.

1. Can you tell us about National Care Forum and what does your role involve?

NCF is a member organisation for not for profit providers of Adult Social Care Services in the Independent Sector. NCF members provide a range of services for older people; people living with a learning disability or people who have mental health concerns. The services are offered in a range of setting such as Home Care; Housing with Care and Support; Care homes with and without nursing. Many of the people NCF provide services for live with dementia.

2. Can you tell us about how your career to date has led you to your current role?

My professional background is nursing (both general and mental health). I moved from the NHS after 10years and have worked in ASC for nearly 30 years in a variety of roles for different organisations. My career has been varied fulfilling a number of national senior roles which have effectively positioned me I believe to support and represent members in my current role.

3. Our annual report is being developed at the moment which will look at member action plans for 2019, what future work are you planning in regards to dementia?

We continue to inform national policy with evidence and innovation from within the membership bring the voice of ASC to positively inform and shape developments

4. We’re hosting our own stream at the UK Dementia Congress next month on Dementia Care in Acute Hospitals. You’re a keynote speaker at the event, could you tell us a bit about what you’ll be presenting on?

I am speaking on why people matter…health and care workforce strategy

5. We launched our Dementia-Friendly Hospitals Charter recently. Do you think projects like the charter are useful for maintaining standards of care for people living with dementia and could it be utilised in other areas?

A charter is great…but to be really meaningful it has to be used so that people using services and living with dementia see and experience the benefits.

6. Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I am passionate about people and their potential.

To find out more about NCF you can visit the website at http://www.nationalcareforum.org.uk or you can follow Sharon on Twitter on @NCFsharon 

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