Hundreds of health service staff attended an awards ceremony in Brighton last night to recognise their dedication in some of the least glamorous areas of work.
About 350 volunteers and staff were publicly thanked by the two senior directors of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
The staff and volunteers work with mental health patients, people with learning disabilities, drug addicts and alcoholics.
At the ceremony at the Corn Exchange in Church Street, Brighton, the trust’s chief executive Lisa Rodrigues told them: “Sussex Partnership’s Staff Awards are just one of the ways we thank our people whose talent, compassion and dedication help the most vulnerable in society.
“The NHS is serving the public in an extraordinarily tough financial climate.
“Our people must achieve more with fewer resources.
“Today is a time to reflect on how much can be achieved by dedicated professional and support staff and volunteers in challenging times. We thank our people very much.”
She and trust chairman John Bacon handed out ten awards, including the Better by Experience Award to the Severe Eating Disorder Consultation and Assessment Service team in Brighton.
The Better by Experience Award – shared with a dementia team in Worthing – is intended to recognise individuals or teams who have significantly improved the experience of patients, carers or staff.
The Brighton team won praise for working well with community teams and specialist eating disorder units.
The team was credited with helping “high-risk patients with severe eating disorders to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives”.
Lucy Freeman, who manages the service, said: “The team has already helped reduce the length of inpatient stays.”
Brighton radio presenter Richard Lindfield hosted the trust’s awards which have been held annually since 2007.
The trust employs 4,500 people – doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, psychologists and staff in support roles – and receives help from 300 volunteers.