Small Grants

Sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference to a patient’s time in hospital, be it a more relaxing waiting area, better equipment, activities to improve wellbeing or better access to information. The Small Grants programme provides funding for bright ideas to support staff in improving the patient experience across the Trust’s five hospitals.

Trust staff can apply for projects to improve patient care in their ward, department or across the Trust, and towards staff amenities where appropriate.

Before you apply to the Small Grants programme, you must first complete an Expression of Interest Form and send it to This will help us determine if your project could be funded.

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.

Application timeframe

You can apply at any time between 1 April 2021 and 18 February 2022.

If your request is below £2,000, we will assess your application within two weeks after you have submitted it on Flexigrant.

If your request is between £2,000 and £10,000, we make a decision on your application quarterly. Application deadline for requests between this range are in the following months:

  • 21 May 2021. You will be notified of the outcome by the end of June 2021.
  • 20 August 2021.  You will be notified of the outcome by the end of September 2021.
  • 19 November 2021. You will be notified of the outcome in early January 2022.
  • 18 February 2022. You will be notified of the outcome by the end of March 2022.
How much can I apply for?

You can apply for up to £10,000.


To apply for a Small Grant, you must be a permanent staff member of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

  • Staff employed by another Trust or Imperial College London are not eligible to apply, even if they work with or care for ICHNT patients.
  • Trust staff can work on the 5 Trust hospital sites or at other sites rented/used by the Trust that serve Trust patients. If at another site and undertaking capital work, there must be confirmation that the Trust is committed to the site for at least 5 years after you have completed your project.

You must clearly demonstrate that your project meets at least one of Imperial Health Charity's strategic objectives:

  • To improve patient experience and help to deliver true patient-centred care
  • To develop the careers and enhance the wellbeing of Trust staff
  • ‘To enable innovation in health and care within the Trust and the wider health system’ is also a strategic objective of ours, however Small Grant projects should be focusing on the other two, rather than this one.
Projects/activities we can support

Below is a list of the types of projects/activities that we would consider under Small Grants. We understand this list is not exhaustive and there may be other types of projects/activities that we could consider. But first it would be helpful if you could complete the Expression of Interest form so that we can advise you properly.

  • Patient area refurbishment/furniture, for example, patient waiting rooms and patient day rooms.
  • Clinical area refurbishment/furniture. Please note that we’re unable to support furniture or equipment that is essential to patient care, for example, in consultation rooms.
  • Medical equipment, for example, specialist patient chairs.
    The equipment should be a priority item and not a ‘nice to have’. Ideally, the item should be on your department’s priority list, but you are unable to purchase it due to lack of funding within your department’s budget.Please note that we’re unable to support medical equipment that Is new for old and should be the Trust’s core responsibility. We also can’t pay for servicing or maintenance costs (you will need to show in your application how these will be covered by your department).
  • Staff education/wellbeing projects, for example away days, teambuilding, or organising a Trust staff conference. These events must be held in London. You can request up to £2,000 for away days/team building events. For conferences, we will consider requests up to £5,000.
    ​​​​​​​Please note that we’re unable to consider requests for individuals to attend conferences or events, undergo training or towards educational fees like postgraduate studies.​​​​​​​
  • Special projects that improve patient care, for example, support groups, patient education days, arts or music activities that will clinically improve Trust patients’ recovery, or the purchase of activity equipment/electronic. You will need to show in your application how these activities will continue after our funding has ended. These activities must benefit Trust patients in the majority and be held in London and/or at a Trust hospital/site. You can request up to £2,000.​​​​​​​​​​
Projects/activities we cannot support

We are unable to support the following types of projects/activities under Small Grant.

  • Staff area refurbishment/furniture Please note that the charity is investing £1.25 million in the ‘Staff Spaces’ initiative that aims to overhaul staff facilities across the Trust. The programme is currently in progress and will continue into summer 2021. For this reason we are not accepting requests for making improvements to staff areas outside of this scheme. We will assess this position in spring 2021. 
  • Any project/activity that only benefit one individual
  • Any project/activity that will deliver on CQC recommendations as these are the core responsibility of the Trust.
  • Any project/activity that are directly related to the efforts of a department/clinic/ward to achieve quality accreditation as these are the core responsibility of the Trust.
  • Research-based projects, for sample, scientific medical research (lab/bench), pilot studies or Quality Improvement projects, that are looking to investigate the feasibility of an idea.
    The Charity’s Research Fellowship or Innovate at Imperial funding programmes may be more suited to these types of projects described.
  • Top-ups of any research fellowships/undergraduate and post-graduate studies
  • Conference or event attendance, and publication costs of individuals
    If you're an academic research fellow, you may be interested in related funding opportunities that are currently available from the Clinical Academic Training Office.
  • Trust staff salaries or backfill costs
  • Furniture such as patient beds or similar items that are considered the core responsibility of the Trust.
  • Small items such as lanyards, badges and laptops
  • The development of new or adaptation of existing apps/devices or the use of technology to improve patient care or team working.
    The charity’s Innovate at Imperial funding programme may be better suited to these types of projects.
  • The development of special group/event/team/project branding and websites
  • Projects that solely benefit private patients. However, we would consider projects that might also benefit private patients as long as they benefit NHS patients in the majority. We would also consider projects that benefit Trust staff who manage private patients.
  • Any item or project that has already been purchased/delivered (no retrospective funding).​​​​​​
Grant award length

The grant is awarded for a maximum period of 12 months.

Reporting requirements

An end of grant report is required one month after the end of the funding period. For some projects, the charity may require a progress report as well.

Financial information

If you are awarded a grant, you must not incur any costs until after you have received a grant award letter. The charity will not pay for any costs incurred retrospectively.

As the grantee, you must first inform your relevant Trust finance department of the grant awarded before making any purchases through your department. The Trust will then invoice the charity quoting the grant reference number. The charity will not pay individuals or suppliers directly.

Payments can be made quarterly and will be in arrears.

As the grantee, you must submit any outstanding/final invoice within six-months of the grant expiry date. The charity will only pay the final invoice after we have received the end of grant report. Any grant underspend will remain with the charity and you will be informed of this.

Expression of interest/further information

Please complete the Expression of Interest form before you are invited to formally apply for a Small Grant on Flexigrant. For any other enquiry, please contact the charity's grants team by email at or call 020 3857 9844.