The Sue Eckstein Award is given out once a year to a person or team that has excelled in the delivery of compassionate leadership.

Sue was an inspirational woman who has had a big impact at Sussex Community and far beyond. You can read more about her below.

This award is a tribute to her. It recognises people working at the Trust who display similar warmth, compassion and leadership.

  • Do you work with someone inspirational?
  • Do they epitomise compassionate care?
  • Do they support patients, your colleagues or you?

About Sue Eckstein

Sue was a lecturer in clinical and biomedical ethics at  Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) from July 2007 until her death in November 2013. Sue spoke powerfully at our Leadership Conference in 2013 on the ‘Ethics of the everyday’ and her experience as a user of our services.

Sue valued simple things like a warm welcome and saying “hello”, staff introducing themselves with a friendly smile, and those who can build positive and meaningful relationships with people – all which have an enormous impact on the experience patients/service users receive.

A personal perspective on Sue Eckstein

Stella Benson, a service user, said: Sue was an inspiring woman. Sadly, I only knew her a short time but she helped me to be strong and to deal with being an amputee. She was so brave, she didn't let her illness defeat her. She had so much energy and never seemed to stop.

Stella, who is a member of Coasting Together, the Sussex Rehabilitation Centre User Group, added: "As well as lecturing at BSMS, she also wrote two well received novels. She was so interesting and such good company. She encouraged everyone and was interested in everyone whatever they did. She is still sorely missed and I would love to tell her how much she helped me on my journey.

“She really was amazing.”

Theresa Samms, a speech and language therapist, said: "Discovering that I had been nominated for the Sue Eckstein Award was a moment I will never forget. 

"It feels like a particularly special award because of the link to Sue whose compassion and leadership inspired both those who knew her and those who have heard in more recent years of her attitude, skills and approach.  Striving as we do within our very busy working NHS lives, caring for our patients and our staff, it can be easy to lose sight of our own skills.  

Theresa Samms receiving her award from Chairman Peter Horn

She added: "Being nominated for, and then winning, this award meant the world to me and helped to quieten the voice that liked to remind me of all that I could not do, rather than that those things that I do well.  I encourage all staff to consider the people to whom they look for leadership and think about recommending them for this award. 

"Nominees do not have to be working at a high banding; the skills of leadership, compassion and commitment to patients abound within SCFT teams at all levels, so think outside the box with your nomination."