HC One


The HC-One Executive Board is made up of senior healthcare professionals and directors with years of experience in providing care and support.

Dr Chai Patel CBE FRCP

Chairman, Acting CEO

In a career which spans 30 years in health and social care, Chai has led and advised some of the largest care providers in the UK. His roles have included: Chief Executive and architect of the modern Priory Group, the UK’s largest independent specialist mental health and education services group; Chief Executive of Westminster Health Care Ltd, one of the largest operators of health and social care services in the UK; and CareFirst, the UK’s largest nursing home operator. Chai founded Court Cavendish in 1988 and took it public in 1993. Court Cavendish subsequently merged with Takare plc to become Care First. Chai bought back the Court Cavendish name in 2007 to establish a new health and social care turnaround organisation with David Spruzen.

Chai is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, has been a member of Government Task Forces for Older People and for Better Regulation, and received an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University.

Alongside his working life, Chai’s family foundation, the Bright Future Trust, is an active supporter of a wide range of organisations enabling young people to fulfil their potential and overcome challenges. In 2011, he was named ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Asian Business Awards.

In 1999, Chai was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to the development of social care policies.


Sir William Wells

Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

Sir William has been involved as a non-executive in the NHS since 1968, and spent 10 of those years working in social care.

His career in the public sector has included roles as a Governor of the Royal Free Hospital in Grays Inn Road; Chairman of the NHS Appointments Commission (2001-2007); Chairman of the Commercial Advisory Board to the Department of Health (2003-2007); Member of the General Council of the King’s Fund (1995 to date).

Sir William is Chairman of Care Management Group plc, where he has worked with Chai Patel and David Spruzen to provide specialist support for adults and children with learning disabilities.

He is also director of Urban Village, which is developing a mixed use ‘village’ in Shoreditch to provide homes, support and training for over 300 homeless people.

Sir William was awarded a knighthood in March 1997.


David Smith

Finance Director

David has a wealth of financial experience having spent ten years at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in the UK, which also took him to the United States and the Middle East.

He has over 5 years’ experience in the healthcare sector, having held a number of finance positions in Southern Cross Healthcare, including most recently that of Finance Director.

A qualified chartered accountant, David also holds a degree in Physics from the University of Birmingham.




John Ransford CBE

Non-Executive Director

In a public service career spanning over 40 years, John Ransford gained extensive experience of personal social care, health and wellbeing and government at local, regional and national levels. He has been involved extensively in partnerships across the public, not for profit and private sectors and after retirement from local government is a Trustee for national and local charities and a board member for care companies.

A qualified social worker, John had practical experience in the probation service and the management of residential care for adults and children, before becoming successively Director of Social Services and Chief Executive for both Kirklees Metropolitan and North Yorkshire County Councils.

John spent fourteen years at the Local Government Association (LGA) which represents all local councils in England and Wales. After advising and leading on social care, health and public protection services he became Chief Executive for three years until his retirement at the end of 2011. He has vast experience of advising and negotiating with Ministers and senior civil servants across a range of government departments, political parties, the NHS, CBI, TUC and local government bodies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Europe.

John was awarded the CBE for services to social work in 1997.


Bruce McLernon BA CQSW DMS

Special Advisor for Wales

A graduate of Durham University, Bruce entered into Public Service with Durham County Council and became Team Leader with Gateshead MBC Social Services Department for an Action Research Project developing personalised care support.

In 1986, he went on to be Principal Officer (Mental Health and Learning Disabilities) for West Glamorgan County Council Social Service before taking up the post of Assistant Director (Support Services) in 1988.

In 1996 he was appointed Assistant Director (Older People and People with a Physical Disability Services) with the City and County of Swansea.

Having spent a further 14 years as Director of Social Care, Health and Housing in Carmarthenshire, Wales, Bruce was responsible for creating a new Directorate bringing together Social Services, Housing and Public Protection.

Bruce is a Past President of the Association of Directors of Social Service, Cymru and Chaired the Mid and West Wales Health & Social Care Collaborative up until 2014 when he retired from public service.