Small Grants

Small Grants

Small Grants for up to £5,000 are available to projects, lasting up to 6 months, that will directly benefit patients of NHS Lothian, whether in hospital wards and departments or in community health services.

If you are considering applying for funding, have a look through our Frequently Asked Questions below, or get in touch to discuss your project further.

Who can apply for small grant funding?
Applicants must be employees of NHS Lothian or employed by GP practices contracted to NHS Lothian. If you are applying from a GP practice contracted to provide NHS Lothian services please select ‘General Medical Services’ as your legal status when completing the online application form. Please ensure you have informed the applicable manager of your application prior to submission.
What do I do if I need support from others to deliver my project?
For some projects you may need to work with other NHS Lothian departments and/or a third sector organisations to deliver your project. When preparing your application, plan in some time to discuss the project with those who you require support from and what that support might be, so that if you are awarded funding then all those involved are aware of their role in delivering the project.
Are there any restrictions on receiving funding?
The Small Grants programme cannot fund certain costs, such as research costs, salary costs (specifically NHS Lothian or GP Practice employed staff), capital costs or services delivered which are considered to be core provision by either acute services or GP practices.

For training courses, unless the training is related to a specific project idea we cannot fund specific training courses through the Small Grants programme. Funding for training should be secured through other funding streams such as core training budgets or the NHS Lothian run Elsie Inglis awards scheme.

Applications on behalf of individuals (for example hardship grants) cannot be accepted.

Retrospective requests for financial support (for example reimbursement of petty cash) will not be accepted.

Is there a deadline for applications?
 Small Grants are awarded four times a year with submission deadlines on 1st February, 1st May, 1st August and 1st November each year.

Upcoming deadlines for applications are:

  • 1st November 2020 – decisions made late November 2020
  • 1st February 2021 – decisions made late February 2021
  • 1st  May 2021 – decisions made late May 2021
  • 1st August 2021 – decisions made late August 2021

Submissions are accepted up to 23:59 on each date above.

How do I apply?
There are two ways to apply for funding; through our online application system or by using our paper based application form. Regardless of how you apply for funding, you will need to provide details on three specific areas; applicant details, project details and project costs.

Specifically, we will be looking for details on the following

  • What do you want to do?
  • Why do you want to do it?
  • What patient group will benefit?
  • What difference will it make and how will you monitor/evaluate this?
  • What are the project costs?
  • Who are you working with on your idea?

All applicants must have read and agree to our grant related Terms and Conditions

Applications which are incomplete or which do not provide a cost breakdown cannot be assessed for funding.

Unsuccessful applicants will be provided with feedback around the reasons for not providing funding, which we hope will help to improve any future applications either to ELHF or a different funding body.

We will normally keep in touch with you about applications via e-mail although sometimes it may be useful to have a quick discussion over the phone. You can state in the application form how you want us to contact you.

Further information on online applications

Have a read through our Online Application Guidance Documents for further information on what is required in each section of the online application form and how to ensure your application is submitted successfully. If your online application is successfully submitted, you will receive an e-mail confirming your application has been received.

Please note any formatting that you include will be removed when the document is submitted.

If you are having problems accessing your application and need to reset your password please follow these instructions.

Further information on paper-based applications

If you prefer to send in a handwritten application form rather than the online form, please get in touch so that we can send one out. The application form is part of the booklet you will receive and can be detached, sealed and returned to us in the internal mail.

It may take us a while to receive forms through the internal mail and/or, for reasons out with our control, the form may go missing. Therefore, as a back up before sending the form in the internal mail, it may be worth scanning the completed form and send us a copy by e-mail so we know to expect an application from you in a particular funding round.

How will my application be assessed?
Eligible applications are reviewed by a small assessment team using an assessment criteria. The team will consider how the project meets our strategic aims, in particular the level of patient benefit.

To enable us to fund as many applications as possible, before the assessment team meet, we will review applications against available endowment funds. If an available fund is identified, we will contact the applicable stewards with a view to funding the project from the endowment fund. If the fund steward decides that the request cannot be supported by the endowment fund, your request will still be considered for Small Grant funding.

How do I apply for funding for Patient Christmas?
If you want to apply for funding for Patient Christmas, please submit your applications around September or October each year to ensure we can get the funding to you in time for Christmas and New Year. For all Patient Christmas related funding applications, we need the following information

  • Ward Number/Department
  • What the funding is for, i.e. gifts, food, decorations, tree or other festive related items
  • Number of patients receiving gifts
  • Cost per patient
  • Staff who will pick up the cash

Following the festive period all completed T&Cs forms, final reports, receipts and unspent cash need to be returned to the respective cashier as soon as possible.

Can I share my application with co-applicants for review before I submit?

There are two ways to share your application with others prior to submission;

Option 1

Log on to the application form and copy and paste the responses to the questions in section B into an e-mail and send this to co-applicants for review. Log back into the application form to make any suggested changes.

Option 2

On the review screen in the online application form, choose File/Save As and choose file type ‘Webpage, complete (*.htm, *.html)’, amending the file name and leaving the Encoding as ‘Western European (ISO)’. Then choose Revise and Save and Exit.

This will allow you to send the file to co-applicants. The application form can then be amended following any comments by going back to the log in screen.

To do this, go to the Apply for Funding page on our website, choose the grant programme you’re applying for and log in under ‘Retrieve your Application’.

What happens next if I am awarded grant funding?
If your application is successful, we will pay awarded funding to either an NHS Lothian cost centre or the GP practice, depending on whether you are an NHS Lothian staff member or work for a non NHS Lothian run GP practice.

If the awarded funds are paid across to NHS Lothian, it is essential that you work within the existing NHS Lothian systems and processes for Procurement.

When preparing your application, and to potentially avoid barriers to delivering the project, please ensure you:

  • check that you can get what you want from PECOS (and note the relevant supplier name)
  • are aware of who in your department/team processes PECOS orders
  • are aware of which NHS Lothian cost centre will receive the awarded funds
  • are aware who the budget holder and Management Accountant are for that cost centre (key contacts to ensure the right people know what the funds are for and to transfer any unspent funds across accounting financial years)

The above guidance refers to when funds are paid across to NHS Lothian only. If funds are paid directly to a GP practice the existing financial processes/systems for that practice would then apply.

Still got questions? Get in touch