Needing hospital treatment can be incredibly stressful for patients and their families. For some people, however, the situation is made even worse, when this treatment triggers unexpected or unmanageable financial pressures.
We can help you support patients and their families who are in financial difficulty with our patient hardship grants.
These grants can cover specific costs, including:
- travel: to help patients and/or their families to travel to hospital for appointments and visits
- food: to help patients and/or their families to purchase food when visiting hospital, or to buy special dietary food the patient needs
- accommodation: to help patients and/or their families to stay overnight near the hospital for appointments and visits
- essentials: to help patients and/or their families to purchase the essentials they need because of their hospital treatment
- funerals: to help bereaved families with funeral costs, where their loved one was receiving treatment at one of our hospitals.
We can award up to a maximum of £1,500 per patient.
Find out more below, and apply now.
Complete the application form on our online system, Flexigrant. You submit the application on behalf of your patient.
Register for a Flexigrant account if you don’t have one already. Then, when you log in, you can submit a new application under the ‘My applications’ tab on the left-hand side.
You can apply at any time throughout the year.
The only exception is when we need to close applications at the end of the financial year, usually in the last week of March, to review the programme. We'll announce this closure on our website and application system in good time.
- You apply on behalf of your patient and/or their family.
- The patient must be receiving care at one of ICHT’s five hospitals. They can be an inpatient or an outpatient.
- We want to make sure we help the patients most in need. Therefore, we ask you to make sure, to the best of your ability, that you’re applying for a patient and/or family in critical need of financial assistance. It might help to compare their circumstances to others you have encountered – does this case stand out? Would the funding have a significant positive impact?
- Applications need to be signed by you, your line manager, and the patient. These signatures show that you accept responsibility for the grant and its conditions, and enable us to comply with the Data Protection Act 2018. By signing, the patient gives their consent for us to use their personal information to assess and process this application. If the patient is unable to sign themselves, a ‘Responsible Other’ can sign on their behalf - for example, their parent or guardian, or partner. If you need to apply in an emergency and aren’t able to obtain this signature, please contact us.
- The patient must qualify for free NHS healthcare. You can find more information about this here. Please contact us for further advice if you're unsure.
- We can consider an application for a patient who has received a grant before, but they must be facing worsening financial hardship, and/or require hospital treatment for a different medical need than when they received their previous grant. If this is the case, please contact us to discuss further.
You can apply for up to £1,500, split across different types of costs. We’ve created this guidance to help you work out how much to apply for on behalf of your patient.
Please be aware that when we assess your application, we may contact you to understand your request, and we may need to make an award that is different to the amount you requested.
Unfortunately, we can only help with the specific items detailed above.
However, we understand that patients may have many needs outside of this. If this is the case, we recommend using the helpful Turn2Us Grant search tool to find out about alternative sources of funding.
We pay Patient hardship grants directly to the patient and/or family (except for funeral costs, where we will pay the Funeral Director directly).
- Grants for travel, essentials, and food are usually paid in instalments. We pay the first instalment up front. We pay the next instalment(s) after you let us know that the previous instalment has been spent appropriately.
- Grants for accommodation are paid after you’ve sent us proof of their booking.
- Grants for funeral costs are paid to the Funeral Director after you’ve sent us the relevant details.
We can only pay for items that are bought after the date of the award, except where we’re paying for emergency accommodation. In that case we’ll retrospectively reimburse the patient and/or their family.
Please see our guidance table, which also helps explain how grants are paid.
This will be detailed clearly in your Grant Award Letter, so you know how it will work from the start and be able to discuss this with the patient and/or family. If there are any concerns, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
Usually, payments are made by BACS, and will be processed as part of our fortnightly payment run. In exceptional circumstances, it may also be possible to make a same-day emergency payment (excluding Fridays), or to arrange cash payments, in £100 instalments. If your patients needs one of these special arrangements, please let us know as soon as possible.
If the patient no longer needs our funding, or is discharged or moves to a different Trust, and hasn’t used all of their grant, please let us know.