The Trust’s chief executive Marianne Griffiths has been awarded a damehood for services to the health service in the New Year Honours List.
The Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) is the second highest honour bestowed by the Queen and is the female equivalent to a knighthood.
Marianne said: “I have the privilege to work with so many extraordinary and caring colleagues in the NHS and I am delighted to accept this honour in recognition of everything we achieve together for the people we serve.
“It is truly humbling to share a common purpose with more than 15,000 compassionate, dedicated and talented healthcare professionals at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals and Western Sussex Hospitals.
“Every day and night, they do their best for thousands of patients and any success attributed to me is due to their steadfast commitment to always improve the care and services we provide.
“Working for the NHS can be tough, but there is a generosity of spirit that binds us together and to be awarded this honour for doing my job is a wonderful tribute to all of my colleagues and their endless acts of kindness.”
Trust chairman Alan McCarthy added: “We are all delighted to hear that Marianne was made a Dame in the New Year’s Honours List. This is a well-deserved recognition of her dedication and service to the NHS and her contribution to improving the quality of patient care.
“I am sure Marianne would say that her success is built on teamwork and the fantastic commitment and support of colleagues in the Trust and those in the partner organisations we work with.”
Marianne, who is currently celebrating her second year as chief executive at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and tenth year leading Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, often says she has the best job in the world.
Under her leadership, Western Sussex Hospitals became the first multi-site trust to be rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission in 2016 and that same year Marianne was named Chief Executive of the Year at the industry leading HSJ Awards (Health Service Journal). In March 2018 she became the first woman to take the number one spot in the HSJ’s annual assessment of NHS trust chief executives.
In April 2017, Marianne also became chief executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH) when, at the request of NHS Improvement, she and her fellow board entered into a three-year joint management contract to lead the teaching hospital and regional trauma centre, while continuing their tenure of Western Sussex Hospitals.
Over the past 18 months BSUH has exited from financial special measures and continued to invest in its facilities, staff and services to continue improving standards of patient care across all its hospitals. The Trust’s Patient First strategy was also introduced. This empowers front-line staff at all levels to make improvements themselves and gives them the skills, tools and support to make change happen, benefitting patients and staff.
Marianne originally joined the acute provider sector in 2009 from NHS South East Coast, where she was Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Commissioning and Delivery, prior to which she was Chief Executive at Kent and Medway Strategic Health Authority. Her many roles in the NHS have also included a joint appointment in West Sussex as Head of Commissioning Social Services and Director of Strategic Development for the Health Authority.
At the beginning of her career, Marianne trained as a nurse, before reading Psychology at the University of Exeter, and completing Chartered Accountancy examinations with Peat Marwick, now KPMG.
Marianne lives with her husband in West Sussex. She is a British citizen, although originally from Limerick in Ireland.