Supporting patients and their families at times of financial crisis

08 April 2021

Supporting patients and their families at times of financial crisis
For many patients facing an extended stay in hospital or ongoing treatment for a long-term condition, looking after their health isn’t the only concern.

Transport costs, household bills and supermarket trips for basic essentials can quickly mount, leaving patients in a perilous financial position at the worst possible time.

Many of these issues have been deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the added complication of travelling safely into hospital for appointments.

This is why we provide emergency support for patients and their families through our Patient Hardship Fund.

During the pandemic, we’ve awarded fast-response grants to help the most vulnerable people at times of extreme financial difficulty.

Funding of up to £1,500 can help to cover everyday expenses so that patients can focus on getting better – and their loved ones can be there to support them.
 

“Having access to that support makes such a difference to people’s lives.”

Miranda Rodger, Macmillan Cancer Information Specialist


“The fund is a lifesaver,” said Miranda Rodger, a Macmillan Cancer Information Specialist based at Charing Cross Hospital, whose role involves providing support for cancer patients.

“The types of scenarios we see vary massively. You could have someone with poor language abilities stuck in low-paid employment, or someone whose condition makes it difficult for them to manage their own finances.

“Having access to that support when they need it most makes such a difference to people’s lives.”
 

How does the fund work?


Members of staff at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust can apply for funding on behalf of a patient or family member.

Funding of up to £1,500 per patient may be awarded to help those in extreme financial difficulty as a result of their illness and can be used to cover the cost of travel to and from the hospital, food, accommodation and other essentials.

Crucially, we work quickly to process applications as fast as possible – meaning patients and their families can receive these emergency funds usually within two working days.

 

“Our patients are at crisis point when we apply for funding.”

Gill Thomas, Macmillan Information and Support Facilitator


“Our patients are generally at crisis point when we apply to the Patient Hardship Fund,” said Gill Thomas, a Macmillan Information and Support Facilitator based at Hammersmith Hospital.

“During the pandemic the fund has helped mainly to cover food costs and transport expenses, so that people can get into hospital safely. But even before Covid-19, it was still a vital resource. On one occasion I was able to help one family buy their children’s school uniforms – that was really quite amazing.”

If you’re a member of staff at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust caring for a patient in financial difficulty, you may be able to apply for support through the Patient Hardship Fund. Click here to read more information.