Small Grants Fund

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 Fund 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.

We encourage applications of up to £5,000 per project to support as many teams and departments as possible.

Before you apply to the Small Grants Fund, you must first complete and email the pre-application form to This will help us determine if your project could be funded from the fund.

If your grant request is above £5,000, we will also advise you if your project could be supported from this fund.

Please read carefully all the information on the fund below before you apply.


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 and 28 February each year.

As the Small Grants Fund is competitive, funding requests below £2,000 are usually assessed within two weeks of submission.

Funding requests above £2,000 are decided quarterly.

Application deadline (third Friday of the following months):

May - decision meeting mid-June; applicants notified by end of June

August - decision meeting mid-September; applicants notified end of September

November - decision meeting mid-December; applicants notified early January

February - decision meeting mid-March; applicants notified end of March.

How much can I apply for?

Funding of up to £5,000 is available.

In certain circumstances we will consider applications up to £10,000 where this is a demonstrable benefit to a significant number of Trust staff and patients (e.g., patient day room/clinic refurbishment).

Please note applications above £5,000 and up to £10,000 must be discussed with the Grants Team prior to starting an application online.

  • Applications can only be submitted by members of staff at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
  •  Applications must clearly demonstrate how the funds will improve patient care, services, experience or staff amenities.
  • Before applying to the charity, applicants must first investigate funding opportunities from their divisional/departmental budget or the Fund Adviser Special Purpose Funds (FA SPF).
  • FA SPF are managed by designated Trust staff members, each with a specific purpose to support a particular ward, department, area of research, service or group of patients. To check if your team or department has access to a FA SPF contact the grants team at
  • Projects involving capital works (e.g., kitchen areas, flooring, clinic refurbishments) must obtain an e-mandate and an up-to-date quote before submitting an application. The quote must be less than 3 months when you submit an application and still be valid if you are awarded a grant.
  • Applicants must obtain approval from their line manager.
  •  An area (e.g., a clinic, ward, unit, team) can only receive a maximum of £10,000 per financial year. Priority will be given to first-time applicants.
  • If successful, applicants will be required to submit an end of grant report.
Projects/items we can support
  • Patient day room refurbishments
  • Staff room refurbishments
  • Clinic refurbishment
  • Equipment that will significantly improve patient care and increase the numbers of patients who can benefit. Replacement of equipment that is old for new is NOT ALLOWED.
  • Costs towards organising events/conferences/awaydays/team building that will benefit Trust patients/staff. Backfill costs NOT ALLOWED. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

This list is not exhaustive. 

Projects/items we cannot support
  • Any item or project that should receive core funding from departmental budgets
  • Any item or project that could be funded by a Fund Adviser Special Purpose Fund
  • Any item or project that has already been purchased/delivered (no retrospective funding)
  • Replacement of equipment that is new for old
  • General staff hospitality (e.g. socials, staff rewards, meeting or travel expenses)
  • Payments to individuals
  • Research-based projects
  • Conference attendance
  • Training course fees
  • Top-up costs of fellowships or for any post-graduate studies.
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.

Pre-application/further information

Please complete the pre-application form in the first instance. For any other enquiry, please contact the charity's grants team by email at or call 020 3857 9844.