Sharon Blackburn CBE, the policy and communications director at the National Care Forum (NCF), has stepped down from her role.
Blackburn attended her last general members meeting on Thursday, after 10 years at the forum, which represents not-for-profit health and social care providers.
She will be moving to Brisbane, Australia, to join BallyCara, a provider of residential care, home care and retirement living.
Over the years Blackburn has represented NCF members at national and international events, and promoted quality through the not-for-profit care sector.
She was awarded an CBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours for services to nursing (pictured).
Commenting on her departure, Blackburn thanked NCF’s members.
“I will take with me so many wonderful memories of working with you, the NCF membership. It really has been a joy to journey with you and to be able to ensure your voice is heard at the various national tables I have represented you all on,” she said.
“Thank you to you all for making my work life so fulfilling and richer; your messages have been heart-warming; somewhat overwhelming. I am extremely grateful.”
Blackburn also warned that “much work is still required” to improve adult social care services.
“Whilst ASC has moved up the agenda, Government, society and many others across health still need to be helped to understand the value of social care and how it makes a positive difference to people lives, the community and wider society,” she said.
“The people who use services and you as providers have much to offer in articulating what social care is and what it achieves.”
Blackburn’s replacement is yet to be named.