Covid-19 Grants Q&As

A £30m grants round opened 1st September 2020 and runs until 31st March 2021 for ‘lead’ NHS member charities to apply for community partnership grants to be used across STP/ICS, Health Boards and ICP areas.

A £35M grants round opened on 1st September 2020 and runs until 31st March 2021 for NHS Charities to apply for recovery grants.

Who is eligible to become a member of NHS Charities Together?

Membership is open to all NHS Charities. The definition of an NHS Charity is set out by HM Government and can be viewed here.

[NHSCT Articles state that members are those established (wholly or principally) for charitable purposes relating to the NHS or charitable purposes relating to any entity (including an NHS foundation trust or NHS Trust) established under NHS legislation with appropriate governance arrangements]

If you do not fit this membership criteria unfortunately you will not be able to become a member of NHSCT.

Organisations who are not eligible to become members of NHSCT may want to have a look at the STP/ICS areas to identify which English NHS member charities you could speak to about partnership working – https://www.england.nhs.uk/integratedcare/stps/view-stps/

For organisations based in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland you can see a list of our NHS member charities here – www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/meet-our-members

Can charitable funds be utilised to support core NHS funding?

Charitable funds should not be a substitute for government funding. The NHS is required to provide a basic level of care from government funding. Charitable funds can be used to enhance this level of care, but not replace it.

For example:

  • Statutory training is a basic provision. Further or additional training which would allow staff to improve their skills and provide the best possible care for patients would be an enhancement.
  • An appropriate staff rest area is a basic requirement. However, environmental improvements to that area would be considered an enhancement as part of an overall plan
  • Charitable funds should not be utilised for funding core of NHS posts, for example the role of Freedom to Speak Up Guardian is a statutory requirement and as such cannot not be funded by charitable means however additional staff to meet the challenges of COVID-19 management or support may be considered at the current time 

Can NHSCT charitable funds be used to fund equipment?

Medical equipment can be purchased from NHCST funds provided the purchase does not involve buying or replacing a basic piece of equipment which is essential for the maintenance of the clinical service as this should be funded by the NHS.

However, the use of charitable funds is permitted if it allows the purchase of an item with enhanced functionality or with benefits additional to those required for basic service provision.

Stage 2 Community Partnership Grants

What is the purpose of the Stage 2 grants?

NHSCT is very aware that the NHS relies on many partnerships across the UK, examples include the hospice, care home and voluntary sectors.

Stage 2 is an allocation of £30m where NHS Charities are encouraged to support partnerships across geographical areas that support communities affected by COVID-19.

These partnerships could help NHS organisations by:

  1. Preventing admission to NHS facilities, for example by early intervention programmes
  2. Facilitating discharge from NHS facilities, for example with end of life care or community health projects
  3. Supporting patients to recover more quickly in the community after leaving hospital
  4. Supporting initiatives that seek to remove health inequalities and disparity in health outcomes with a focus on diversity in the population

The above list contains examples only. The expectation is that the funding should be used for projects that benefit all or many of the NHS Trusts and wider VCSE sector providing health interventions in the geographical area.

Why is NHS Charities Together identifying lead NHS Charities for geographical areas?

Stage 2 grants are all about partnership working across geographical areas. In order to facilitate that, NHSCT wants to identify a lead NHS Charity for each geographical area who will coordinate discussions and plans with the other NHS and non-NHS Charities, and other relevant organisations in the area. They will act as the facilitator for the organisation and legal mechanism for transacting the charitable funds in this stage of grants.

NHSCT Trustees are accountable for the allocation, due diligence and reporting of expenditure, hence safeguarding the appropriate use of the funds. The lead charity is responsible to NHSCT Trustees for the management and hence decision making on the onward allocation and expenditure of the funds provided.

What is a lead NHS Charity?

A lead charity is a member charity that has been successfully nominated or identified to be the voice of their geographical area.

The responsibilities of a lead charity will differ from area to area depending on that geographical area’s particular requirements but it is expected that all lead charities will:

  • Accept and manage the paperwork sent out by NHSCT in relation to Stage 2 funding.
  • Proactively organise and chair conference calls and/or meetings with the other member charities and other relevant VCSE sector organisations in their geographical area to discuss what the funding priorities for their area will be. On occasion this may also cross ICS/STP boundaries and this may need to be considered.
  • Be responsible for the submission of the outline Grant Proposal form and full Grant Application form by the specified deadline(s). The actual completion of the form may be undertaken by anyone within the geographical area, but the lead charity will ensure the application is circulated amongst all member charities in the area for approval.
  • Be the recipient of NHSCT funds and will be responsible for making the grant payments (within their governance procedures) as identified in the application across their geographical area. 
  • Take responsibility for/or delegate responsibility for the monitoring and evaluation of the work and completion of the interim and final report.
  • Submit the interim and final report.
  • Liaise with NHSCT regarding the need for any additional funder plus support.

Overall, the lead NHS Charity will be responsible for all correspondence with NHSCT, ensuring that outcome reporting is completed and submitted by the deadlines and is ultimately in charge of overseeing the success of the project.

What is the opening date for Stage 2 applications?

Tuesday 1st September 2020

What is the outline Grant Proposal?

NHSCT has asked for an outline Grant Proposal to be completed by the lead NHS charity in the first instance in order to determine whether the full application will be acceptable to NHSCT trustees and the Grant Advisory and Review Panel (GAARP).

In this document you will be expected to include the following:

  • Outline of proposed work
  • A list of member charities and external organisations that have been included in funding discussions and confirmation of any agreements made for fund allocation. This document must demonstrate that organisations are working in collaboration regarding projects in the geographical area.
  • Outline of the process you intend to follow for grant management and how you intend to measure the impact of the grant awarded.

The Grant Proposal will be reviewed by the NHSCT Grants Team in the first instance and if necessary be referred to GAARP to obtain additional feedback.

This proposal will also be the first indication if you or your geographical area would benefit from the additional funder plus support on offer.

Where can I get the outline Grant Proposal form?

This document will be sent out as part of the members communication email alongside the Stage 2 Grant Application form and criteria on 25th August.

The form will also be available to download from the members’ area of the website.

Where do I send my outline Grant Proposal form?

Please submit this form to grants@anhsc.org.uk marking the subject of the e-mail Stage 2 Grant Proposal / lead charity name in the subject line.

When do I need to complete the outline Grant Proposal form?

There is no official deadline for submitting your proposal but NHSCT must receive this in advance of your full application form.

You will be expected to incorporate any feedback given by the NHSCT Grants Team and/or GAARP panel in your full Grant Application form.

However, you must leave adequate time between completing the outline Grant Proposal and submitting the full Grant Application form by the deadline of Wednesday 31st March 2021.

What is the closing date for Stage 2 applications?

Wednesday 31st March 2021.

How do I find out what other hospitals and organisations are in my STP/ICS area?

Funding has been allocated in Stage 2 across geographical areas. In England that is STP/ICS area as detailed on the NHS England site here.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the geographical areas are according to Health Board or ICP area. If you are unsure you can contact grants@anhsc.org.uk.

How much has been allocated to my geographical area?

This information can be found via this link.

How can I get in contact with other member charities in my STP/ICS area?

You can see a list of our NHS member charities here.    

When and how do I submit our Full Grant Application form?

Following submission of the outline Grant Proposal, NHSCT will provide feedback and let you know if a full application can be submitted.

At that point you can complete the application form available in the member’s area (and also provided for information on the 25th August) and email to grants@anhsc.org.uk.  

There will be monthly GAARP panel meetings to review the applications. The Trustees of NHSCT will sign off the final project spend at their meetings in October, January and April.

The process flowchart can be found via this link.

Does each individual NHS Charity in a geographical area have to complete a separate grant application form?

No. The lead NHS Charity has responsibility for submitting the application form on behalf of the whole area.

Individual NHS Charities should be asked to contribute to that application, but do not need to submit individual applications to NHS Charities Together.

There may be circumstances which require separate or multiple submissions eg pilot projects / agreed division of projects across an ICS/STP area and these should be discussed with NHSCT ahead of the application being submitted.

What is funder plus support?

Whilst NHSCT recognises that many NHS Charities have extensive experience and expertise in grant making and reporting outcomes of projects, NHSCT also understands there is a cohort of NHS Charities that may need additional support.

Some NHS Charities may benefit from the experience of lead member charities who will be leading on the Stage 2 grants in their area, but NHSCT is also able to provide some assistance where needed.

NHSCT can support members with the management and spending of grants, to identify needs and requirements and demonstrate the impact of grant spending.

NHS Charities should contact grants@anhsc.org.uk if they want to explore the possibilities of funder plus support and include this request in the outline Grant Proposal.

Can I apply as an individual or community organisation without being a member of NHSCT?

No. You must be a member charity.

If you do not fit this membership criteria unfortunately you will not be able to become a member of NHSCT.

You can see a list of our NHS member charities here.

Stage 3 Recovery Grants

What is the opening date for Stage 3 applications?

Tuesday 1st September 2020

What is the closing date for Stage 3 applications?

Wednesday 31st March 2021

How will funds be allocated for Stage 3?

Funds have been allocated based on the staff headcount of the NHS Trusts or Health Boards that each member charity serves. The allocation has been awarded at £22 per head based on head count workforce figures (May published figures) rounded to the nearest 500.

What is the fund allocation for my area?

Please click this link to see the total headcount allocation for your geographical area.

As an NHS Charity am I guaranteed to receive the amount allocated to me in Stage 3?

No. You will be required to submit an application that demonstrates good use of charitable funds, good value for money and a clear benefit to staff long term health and recovery. Applications that do not demonstrate those will not be accepted and funds will not be awarded.

Note that one of the key criteria will be that you have submitted a final report on the use of funds in Stage 1 as well as a commitment to give full credit to NHSCT for funds received and projects funded.

Do I get a chance to resubmit if my application is declined?

Yes, you can resubmit once before the deadline of 31st March 2021.

If your first application is declined, we will give you feedback before you resubmit. NHSCT will offer support to your organisation in order to give you the best chance of a successful resubmission.

When will the application forms and criteria be available for Stage 3 applications?

Tuesday 1st September 2020

Can I apply for funding for projects already started in stage 1?

Yes, member charities can apply for funding in Stage 3 for projects already supported in the Stage 1 grants.