THE head of the organisation that oversees mental health services in 1066 Country and the rest of Sussex has received a CBE for her long service to the NHS.
Lisa Rodrigues, chief executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, was presented with the honour by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace this week.
She was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List last June for services to the NHS.
Lisa said: “It was a privilege to attend the investiture. It will be 40 years this summer since my first job in the NHS. My award honours all the wonderful people I have worked with, and every patient and every carer I have known. It recognises what we can each achieve if we never give up.”
Since 2002 she has led mental health, substance misuse and learning disability services, first in West Sussex and from 2006 across West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and East Sussex.
She said: “I am passionate about fighting the stigma still affecting those who need to use our services, and to care which recognises people’s individual differences and rights.”
In 2012 Sussex Partnership became the highest-placed ever NHS organisation in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, at number four. Lisa is currently an ambassador for a national NHS campaign to take this commitment to a new level by creating an NHS which is personal, fair and diverse.
She said: “It is about compassion and thoughtfulness being integral to everything we do. And in these challenging times, it is needed more than ever before.”
Lisa has been chief executive of Sussex Partnership since its establishment in 2008. She holds a BA in psychology and an MA in public sector management, both from the University of Sussex.
She is the also Senior Independent Director of the NHS Confederation, which speaks for all organisations that make up the whole of the NHS.
Professor Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, said: “We are proud to have Lisa as an alumna of the University of Sussex, and as our Vice-Chairman of Council she is playing a leading role in helping Sussex continue to develop and grow as an international research-intensive university.
“Her CBE is a fitting recognition of the contribution she continues to makes to the health service and her wider role in public service.”