The chief executive of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is to be made a Dame Commander in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List.
Marianne Griffiths began her tenure in 2009 as part of a merger of hospitals including St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, Worthing Hospital and Southlands in Shoreham-by-Sea.
She also became chief executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust in April 2017, leading the trust out of financial special measures.
Ms Griffiths 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 Western Sussex Hospitals and Brighton and Sussex University 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.”
At the beginning of her career, Ms Griffiths trained as a nurse, before reading psychology at the University of Exeter and completing chartered accountancy examinations with Peat Marwick, now KPMG.
She 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.
In 2016, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust became one of only three trusts in the UK to receive an ‘Outstanding’ rating and that same year Ms Griffiths was named Chief Executive of the Year at the industry-leading Health Service Journal (HSJ) awards.
She became the first woman to take top spot in the HSJ’s annual assessment of NHS trust chief executives in March 2018.
Alan McCarthy, chairman of the board at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals, said: “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.”
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