Limerick lady is made a Dame in 2019 New Year’s Honours List

Damehood: Marianne Griffiths, originally from Ballynanty and now living in West Sussex

Damehood: Marianne Griffiths, originally from Ballynanty and now living in West Sussex

LIMERICK lady Marianne Griffiths has been made a dame.

Ms Griffiths - formerly O’Regan - who is chief executive of two NHS hospital trusts in England, has been made a Dame Commander, Order of the British Empire, in the 2019 New Year Honours List.

The honour is given for a pre-eminent contribution in any field of activity and is the female equivalent to a knighthood.

Originally from Ballynanty, Ms Griffiths went to Salesians in the city before she moved to England to train as a nurse after her leaving certificate, later reading Psychology at the University of Exeter.

She is chief executive of Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals and Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

“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,” said Marianne, who lives with her husband in West Sussex.

“It is truly humbling to share a common purpose with more than 15,000 compassionate, dedicated and talented healthcare professionals at Brighton & 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.”

Ms Griffiths is currently celebrating her tenth year as chief executive of Western Sussex Hospitals and claims to have the “best job in the world”. She has led the trust, which includes St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, Worthing Hospital and Southlands in Shoreham-by-Sea, since its creation following a merger in 2009.

In 2016 she was named Chief Executive of the Year at the industry Health Service Journal Awards and last year 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 & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Alan McCarthy, chairman of the board at Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals and Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation, said it was “a well-deserved recognition”.

“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,” he added.

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