Receiving care in hospital can be very stressful for patients and their families. In some cases, the situation is made even harder when their care leads to unexpected or unmanageable financial pressures.
We can help you offer extra support to your patients and their families at times of serious financial difficulty by providing emergency funding through our patient hardship programme.
Our emergency hardship grants can be used to cover a range of specific costs, including:
- Travel: to help your patient and/or members of their family travel to hospital for appointments and visits
- Food: to help your patient and/or members of their family buy food or special dietary items when visiting a loved one in hospital
- Accommodation: to help your patients and/or members of their family stay overnight near the hospital for appointments and visits
- Essentials: to help your patients and/or members of their family buy any essentials they might need as a result of their hospital treatment
- Funerals: to help bereaved families cover funeral costs if their loved one was receiving treatment at one of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust's hospitals.
You can apply on behalf of your patient and/or members of their family for a maximum of £1,500 per patient.
Find out more information about our patient hardship grants below, including details about how to apply for funding.
For further guidance, you can read our guidance on applying for a patient hardship grant and to help you get started on your application, you can also read our patient hardship grants workflow.
Please complete the application form on our online grants system, Flexigrant. You'll need to register for a Flexigrant account if you don't already have one.
Log in and click on 'Application System' in the top left corner of the landing page. Then scroll down and select 'Start a new application' for patient hardship 2023/24. Click 'Start' to begin your application.
You can apply at any time during the year. However, please be aware we will temporarily close the programme during the following periods:
- from 15 December 2023 to 2 January 2024
- from 22 March 2024 to 8 April 2024.
During these periods, applications and payments will not be processed.
- To apply for a patient hardship grant, you must be a member of staff at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. We will ask you to apply on behalf of your patient.
- At the time of applying, your patient must be receiving care at one of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust's hospitals. They can be an inpatient or an outpatient.
- We want to help those patients who are most in need, so please make sure - to the best of your ability - that you're applying on behalf of a patient or family member who is in critical need of financial support. Before you apply, you might find it helpful to compare your patient's circumstances to others you've encountered.
- 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. This also enables us to comply with data protection regulations. By signing, the patient gives their consent for us to use their personal information when assessing and processing the application. If the patient is unable to sign themselves, a ‘responsible other’ can sign on their behalf - for example, their parent, guardian or partner. If you need to apply in an emergency and aren’t able to obtain their signature, please contact us for further support before you submit your application.
- The patient must qualify for free NHS healthcare. You can find more information about this here. If you're unsure, please contact us for further advice.
You can apply for up to £1,500 per patient. For further advice, please read our guidance notes on costs we can support.
Please be aware that after assessing your application, we may award a different amount to what you have requested.
We can only provide funding to support with costs relating to specific items listed in our guidance notes.
However, we understand that your patients may have many other needs. If this is the case, we recommend using the helpful Turn2Us Grant search tool to find out about alternative sources of funding.
If your application is successful, we will send you a grant award letter. This will include guidance on how to access the funds. For further advice, please read our guidance notes on applying for a patient hardship grant.
If your patient no longer needs the funding, is discharged from hospital or is transferred to a different NHS trust before using all of their grant, please contact us to let us know. We will be able to award any unspent funds to support another patient in critical need.