Lance Gardner MBE, Chief Executive of the Care Plus Group, has been presented with an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Northampton at this year’s Summer Graduation Ceremonies.
Sheffield-born 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.
Recognised for his management skills and patient focused approach, while still in Runcorn, Lance became general manger of one of the first wave Total Purchasing pilot sites where he learned the value of working in a partnership with citizens as customers. 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. Lance is a visionary social entrepreneur and outstanding health professional. He has an MSc in Ethics in Healthcare from Liverpool University, is a Fellow of the Queen’s Nursing Institute and has helped transform healthcare provision and policy.
On receiving his Honorary Fellowship, Lance commented: “When I first heard that I had been offered an Honorary Fellowship, I was really quite shocked! I actually said to the University that I’m sure there are many people more worthy than I am! We are achieving great things at the Care Plus Group, but that’s a ‘we’ not a ‘me’ and it’s more about the collective responsibility and the collective way we have gone about things, rather than it being about me as an individual. I am surprised and humbled that the University wants to honour me in this way.”
Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton, commented: “In addition to celebrating the outstanding achievements of the graduating class of summer 2014, we are also recognising high profile individuals who have collectively impacted, directly or indirectly, many millions of people worldwide through their acting, music, charitable activities or the social enterprises they run. These recipients of honorary awards will, no doubt, motivate our graduates as they go out into the world and transform lives and inspire change amongst all those who come into contact with them.”