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Speakers 2018

 Sharon Allen OBE, CEO, Skills for Care

Sharon has worked in the public and voluntary sector, social care and supported housing sectors for more than 30 years. A qualified social worker and housing professional, Sharon became Chief Executive Officer of Skills for Care in 2010, having previously been CEO of a large social care and supported housing. Sharon is a member of the Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP) Programme Board, Chairs the Operations Committee of the CHS Group (Housing Association) in Cambridge, a member of the Association of Coaching and is a board member of Age UK and Aston Organisational Development.

Sharon was awarded an OBE in June 2015 for services to social care, homeless people and housing.

Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of State, Department of Health and Social Care 

Caroline Dinenage was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care in January 2018. Previously, Caroline has held Ministerial positions at the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Education and the Ministry of Justice.

She was elected Conservative MP for Gosport in 2010 – having previously served on the City of Winchester local council and been a small business owner for 20 years.
The minister’s responsibilities include:
  • overseeing all aspects of adult social care, including dementia, loneliness and disabilities
  • hospital care quality and patient safety
  • community health services
  • health and social care integration

Dr David Sheard, Founder, Dementia Care Matters

Global pioneer and dementia care change management specialist, Dr David Sheard has changed the future of dementia care through his radical and innovative dementia care ‘Butterfly Model’. Founder of international award winning Dementia Care Matters, David has grown the organisation over two decades to be a world leader in culture change in dementia care across multiple care settings in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia and the USA.

As a globally respected author, film-maker, TV Consultant, challenging and motivational speaker, David’s aim is to shape culture change in dementia care and to emphasise the primary competency is in a model of emotional intelligence where ‘Feelings Matter Most’. David’s beliefs, values, boundless energy and passion have driven changes that to many were only a dream. His herculean effort has revolutionised the culture of care nationally and internationally.

As a qualified social worker, University Lecturer and former General Manager, Old Age Psychiatry in a UK NHS Trust, David has an appointment as a Visiting Senior Fellow in the School of Health and Social Care, University of Surrey, UK and holds the Honorary Degree award of Doctor of the University (D Univ).

David’s purpose is to demonstrate that quality dementia care is all about emotional care and that this is no different to what we all need in life – believing that “All we have is now.”

In 2018, DCM launched “All Care Matters”, transforming the DCM Butterfly Model into all care homes, and not just dementia care - this is the next stage of DCM’s disruptive innovation.

Sam Monaghan, Chief Executive, MHA

Sam Monaghan joined MHA as Chief Executive in February 2018. He has extensive experience as a corporate director and senior operational and strategic manager within the Third and Public Sectors, in a career of more than 30 years in social care. Originally a graphic designer, Sam qualified as a social worker in 1988, working for 15 years in local authority social services, prior to joining Action for Children in 2003. In 2006, he moved to Barnardo’s as their Midlands Director and became Corporate Director of Children’s Services in 2013. 

Sam was drawn to MHA with its strong commitment to its values and quality of care. He is looking forward to continuing and strengthening these further through his leadership of the organisation. Sam will seek to build on MHA’s partnerships with others across the sector and give voice to those who the organisation seeks to support through its care, accommodation and community based services.

NCF Rising Stars 2018

3 NCF Rising Stars will share thier story and experiences of the programme with Angharad Jenkins, the new Editor of Care Managers Matters


Ian Donaghy, Author 'Dear Dementia'

Big Ian is a unique entertaining and dynamic keynote speaker with a diverse range of skills and experience. Imagine the 
energy of stand up comedy with a heartfelt message.

Winner of Care Trainer of the Year at The British Care Awards and accomplished presenter who is able to convey motivational, inspiring & emotive messages through his presentations & film making. 

Author of 2 books; DEAR DEMENTIA & The Missing Peace 

Passionate fundraiser leading a campaign for older people in York; founder of 'Xmas Presence', 'A Night to Remember' and 'Forever Young Music Festival'.

Prof Dawn Skelton, Professor in Ageing and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University

Dawn Skelton is an exercise physiologist with a scientific research background. She is Professor in Ageing and Health at Glasgow Caledonian University. She currently chairs a review on guidelines for exercise for the UKs National Osteoporosis Society and the Older People panel for the UK’s update of the Physical Activity for Health Guidelines. She is a regular Keynote speaker around the world on falls prevention and exercise in older people. She works part time in academia and the rest of the time is a Director of Later Life Training Ltd, a company that runs as a not-for profit, to train health and fitness professionals to work with effective physical activity and exercise with older people and stroke survivors. Later Life Training ran Cascade Training in the Otago programme within the Prevention of Falls Network for Dissemination (ProFouND) project. 

Her recent research focuses on the determinants of sedentary behaviour, interventions to reduce sedentary behaviour in older people, implementation of the FaME programme (translational research) and strength and balance awareness in older people. She recently received the British Geriatrics Society Marjory Warren Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in translating falls prevention research into practice.

Jill Parker, Social Care Lead for the NHS England STOMP Campaign

Jill Parker is the Senior Policy Advisor for the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group and the social care lead for the NHS England STOMP (STopping Over-Medication of People with a learning disability, autism or both) campaign. She has a background in the provision of learning disability services and is passionate about addressing the health inequalities experienced by disabled people.



Sue Howard, Deputy Chief Inspector, Care Quality Commission - Central Region

Sue Howard Deputy Chief Inspector Adult Social Care (ASC) Central Region
An experienced leader in Adult Social Care, Sue’s first job was as a night care assistant in a home for older people before forming an ambition to progress into care management.   Sue worked and studied hard until she managed both residential and domiciliary care services, before becoming an inspector in 2002.  

In 2008, Sue was promoted to a managerial role at The Commission for Social Care Inspection becoming a senior leader in CQC in 2011.  

In May 2015 Sue secured the post of Deputy Chief Inspector ASC in the Central region working directly to Andrea Sutcliffe. Sue leads approximately 300 inspection staff across the Central region.  


Vic Rayner, Executive Director, National Care Forum

Vic Rayner is Executive Director of the National Care Forum, joining the organisation in 2016. The NCF is the strongest voice for the not for profit care sector, and works with its membership to drive forward the delivery of quality, person-centred care. As Executive Director she sits on a range of government and national specialist groups with a focus on the social care workforce, digital transformation, new models of care and regulation. Vic is a regular national and international speaker, and has extensive knowledge and expertise across a wide range of care, support, housing and social policy agendas. Prior to joining the NCF, she was the CEO of Sitra, a leading national membership body championing excellence in housing, health, care and support. 

Vic is a Director of the London Housing Foundation, funding innovation and best practice in homelessness provision, she is also a trustee of Hestia, and the Care Workers Charity. Vic is the independent Chair of the Brighton and Hove Fairness Commission, tackling inequalities and promoting social justice within the locality. Vic has an MBA (Distinction), MA and BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

Follow Vic on twitter: @vicrayner

Conference Chair: Sharon Blackburn CBE, RGN RMN, Policy and Communications Director, National Care Forum

Sharon has worked in the independent care sector for over 28 years, having previously spent 10 years in the NHS in a variety of roles. She has held the posts of director of nursing and director of quality assurance in one of the largest UK care providers and was the managing director for Heart of England Housing and Care until 2009. 

She has served on a number of national policy groups, where she seeks to bridge the gap between policy and practice. She is director of the Residential Forum, a director of CommonAge and Vice Chair of NAPA.

Sharon began her role at the National Care Forum in 2009 as Policy and Communications Director. In addition to representing members at national and international events, Sharon has developed skills in social care and health policy and regularly works with directors and boards on the successful management of change.

Sharon was awarded an CBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours for services to nursing and the not-for-profit care sector.

Follow Sharon on twitter @NCFsharon


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