Remembering Ray Lyon

We are deeply saddened to share the news that our recently retired Chief Pharmacist, Ray Lyon, has passed away. Ray joined Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in April 2006. As the former Chief Pharmacist for West Sussex Health and Social Care Trust, he shared this role with Jed Hewitt who joined from East Sussex County Healthcare Trust. Over time they developed these roles, with Ray taking a lead on strategy and Jed leading on governance and professional practice. In May of this year Ray retired, two years after Jed. Ray continued to work for the Trust after his retirement supporting the Trust in response to the pandemic and supporting the new pharmacy senior team until his untimely passing this month.

Ray was a much loved and respected colleague who will be really missed. We would like to give you the opportunity to sign a condolences book for Ray's family to keep as a memory of the impact he made. If you would like to contribute to this, please email Carol Arnese: carol.arnese@sussexpartnership.nhs.uk

Below, we want to share some of the things his close colleagues have to say about working with him.

‘Ray was a great leader, mentor and friend to us and to the pharmacy team. He had a boundless enthusiasm that just made you smile. His passion for supporting and improving healthcare services for our patients was second to none. Over his career he influenced many key regional and national policies as well as countless clinical guidelines that shaped and refined medicines optimisation in mental health services. He proudly represented us all in Pharmacy mental health services on the NHS England, Chief Pharmacist group and as a fellow of the College of Mental Health Pharmacists. Throughout all of his connections he was always a strong advocate for our patients’ voices and he had a particular passion for improving accessibility for information in Learning Difficulty Services. It’s hard to express into words just how much Ray will be missed. Not only from his knowledge and expertise but more importantly as a person. Ray was infinitely kind and compassionate, he would always make time for you and always did so with a smile. He was one of the loveliest people that you could meet and a true role model and inspiration for many. He leaves a huge void in our team that is unfillable and we will carry his legacy on in all of our work to come. It was our privilege to have known and worked with Ray, thank you Ray for being our leader and friend, we will always miss you.’
Helena Bird (Chief Pharmacist) 

‘Ray was a true gentleman, a good friend and an inspirational Pharmacist who deservedly received recognition at a national level. He had an unwavering passion for his work and was tenacious about improving the care of patients through development of innovative pharmacy services. I worked alongside him for over 12 years and it was always an absolute pleasure to do so. He will be greatly missed’
Jed Hewitt (Retired Chief Pharmacist)

‘I had the privilege of working with Ray over the last 12 years. Ray was my mentor and role model, helping me professionally and personally over the years. He cared so deeply and passionately about the care and treatment of patients within our services and for the staff members within the team. His enthusiasm and appetite to develop and improve services was unparalleled. Ray helped and supported so many pharmacy colleagues nationally in their own careers, and his untimely passing will be felt with great sadness. Ray will be missed so much by so many. I feel blessed to have known Ray and to be able to call him my colleague, mentor and friend. Rest in peace Ray.’
James Atkinson (Deputy Chief Pharmacist)

'Ray was one of the most genuine and warm-hearted people I have ever worked with. He was tremendously respected by all staff, not only for his encyclopaedic knowledge of all things pharmacy related but also his authenticity, humility and humour. It was clear that for Ray his family were immensely important to him. I am so sorry he didn’t get to spend more time with them. He will be missed by all of us at Sussex Partnership.'
Dr Rick Fraser (Chief Medical Officer)