Dame Marianne Griffiths is currently celebrating her eleventh year as chief executive of Western Sussex Hospitals and often says that she has the best job in the world. She has led the trust from its creation from a merger in 2009 and within four years the organisation was awarded foundation status.
In 2016, Western Sussex Hospitals became the first multi-site trust to be rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and that same year Marianne was named Chief Executive of the Year at the HSJ Awards. In March 2018 she became the first ever woman to take the number one spot in the HSJ’s annual assessment of trust chief executives. In December 2018, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the New Year Honours List for services to the NHS.
In April 2017, Marianne also became chief executive of neighbouring Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust 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. In January 2018, BSUH was awarded a Good rating by the CQC, marking one of the most successful turnarounds of a trust placed in special measures by the health watchdog.
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. She lives in West Sussex and is originally from Limerick in Ireland.