Patient hardship grants

For many people, being admitted to hospital or receiving hospital treatment can trigger sudden and serious financial pressures.

If you work with patients (and/or their families) who are in financial difficulty as a result of their time in hospital as inpatient or outpatient, you can apply for a Patient hardship grant of up to £1,500, to help them cover the cost of travel to and from a Trust hospital, food, accommodation and other essentials. 

Please see the information below to find out more about we can cover and how to apply. Please note: Applications will be closed from Monday 29th March (noon) until Thursday 1st April to enable us to prepare for the new financial year. Applications will be accepted as normal before and after these dates.

How can I apply?

Applications must be submitted via our online grants management system, Flexigrant. We do not accept hard-copy applications. Please click here to access the online application form.

How much can I apply for?

You can apply for set amounts of money for set things, called cost types. The maximum these can add up to is £1,500.

The cost types we have are travel, accommodation, food, essentials, and funeral costs. Please see our guide to how much you can apply for under each cost type and how to determine how much the patient may need.

Application timeframe

Applications are accepted year-round with no formal deadlines. Please note: Applications will be closed from Monday 29th March (noon) until Thursday 1st April to enable us to prepare for the new financial year. Applications will be accepted as normal before and after these dates.

The charity will aim to assess and respond to applications within two working days. We will inform you if there is a delay.

Criteria
  • Applications must be submitted by a member of staff at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust on behalf of the patient or family.
  • The patient must be receiving inpatient or outpatient care at one of the Trust’s five hospitals (Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea, St Mary’s and the Western Eye).
  • There must be clear evidence of a real and critical need to provide financial assistance. Having compared the patient’s circumstances with those of the many others Trust staff have encountered in the course of their work, Trust staff must be satisfied that the case stands out in terms of both financial hardship and the relief that a grant from the fund might provide.
  • For both inpatients and outpatients, the financial hardship must be a direct result of their time in hospital. If the patient is discharged and the grant is only used in part, the charity reserves to right to use the remaining balance of the grant to support other patients (and their families) in the future.
  • Up to £1,500 is available per patient. 
  • 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. 
  • Signatures are required as part of the application process from the applicant, the applicant’s line manager, and the patient/patient’s family. Trust staff cannot sign the Signatures of Approval document on behalf of the patient or the patient’s family. Please contact us if you need to apply in an emergency and don't have the patient signature required.

     

Financial information
  • Costs can only be incurred after a grant has been awarded (except emergency accommodation).
  • Payments are made in instalments. The first payment is made upfront. We then release the next instalment/s after you confirm the previous payments have been spent appropriately. We don't generally need to see evidence of the patient/family's spending, but we do need you to be comfortable that the funding has been spent on the approved costs before we will make another payment. We may ask to see receipts on a case-by-case basis. If you have any concerns, please contact us immediately so we can discuss the next steps.
  • Payments are made only to the patient/the patient’s family.
  • Payment for funeral costs will be made directly to the funeral home.
  • Grants are usually paid by BACS and can take up to one week to process. BACS payments are subject to the payment schedules of the charity’s Finance Department.
  • We may be able to arrange cash payments in instalments of £100, if there are issues with the grant being paid by BACS. Please contact us to discuss this option if necessary.
  • Payments over seasonal holidays/bank holidays are subject to delay. ​​​​
Further information

For any additional information or guidance, please contact the charity’s grant team: grants@imperialcharity.org.uk or call 020 3857 9844.