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Lance Gardner is chief executive of the Care Plus Group.

Lance decided to become a nurse at the age of 16 after an operation to remove his appendix. Inspired by the care he received; he qualified as a registered nurse and health visitor in West Yorkshire and then moved to Runcorn in 1992 as nurse practitioner.

In Runcorn, Lance became general manger of one of the first wave Total Purchasing pilot sites. He moved to work in Salford in 1996 as a project manager before becoming the first owner of a nurse-led practice where he employed general practitioners. He was awarded his MBE in 2000 for services to primary care nursing.

In 2001, Lance became the Project Lead for Citizen Leadership at the NHS National Leadership Centre. He was then seconded to the Department of Health to lead on governance arrangements for NHS Foundation Trusts. Returning to front line healthcare, he was the Director of Modernisation for the Northern Lincolnshire Health and Social Care Community.

In 2011, Lance took advantage of the Right Request scheme to form the Care Plus Group. The Care Plus Group operates as a social enterprise, delivering personal health and care services and playing a major role in the regeneration of Grimsby.