The Health Foundation is an independent charity working to continuously improve the quality of heatlhcare in the UK

Innovating for Improvement

In brief

We have £1.5m available for up to 20 teams to test and develop innovative ideas and approaches to improving health care delivery in the UK. 

As part of our Innovating for Improvement programme we are looking for projects that aim to improve health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care through the redesign of processes, practices and services.

We want to support clinical teams to develop their innovative ideas and approaches, put them into practice and gather evidence about how their innovation improves quality.

Applications can come from any health or health and social care provider organisation in the UK where health care services are delivered free at the point of delivery.

Teams need to demonstrate a clearly identified and convincing problem that they want to address, ie a significant quality issue that is relevant to UK health care. Any potential improvements should be simple to put into practice and generalisable beyond the chosen health care setting.

Projects must be able to provide robust evidence to demonstrate that their idea is genuinely innovative and fits with one of the following four descriptions of innovation:

  • Level 1: Innovations with no previous history in any context – they are genuinely new or novel
  • Level 2: Innovations transferred into health care from another sector such as another public service body, another industry or non-health related field
  • Level 3: Innovations transferred into the UK health care sector from health care systems overseas
  • Level 4: Innovations transferred or adapted from one health care setting to another eg social care to health care

On a scale of level 1 to 4, we regard level 1 as being the most innovative.

Applying for this programme

The first stage of applications is now open and closes at 12 noon, Tuesday 10 February 2015 (please note that the Health Foundation reserves the right to close ahead of this deadline if the programme is oversubscribed).

There is a two stage application process. Applicants should download and read the following documents in full before going on to complete the screening tool and access the application form:

Further information

For examples of previous innovation projects we have funded from our Shine programme, see Shine 2014.

You can also view our video with tips on applying for one of our innovation programmes.

The next round of applications will open in July 2015. To find out when new programmes are open for application, please register for email alerts.

Could someone call me please thank you. Natalie Ellis

Do you sponsor construction of a health facility, i have provided land for the same.
the challenge has been on the materials to help in the constructions.

if you i will be very glad to submit my proposal immedietely

Dear Christopher

Thank you for your interest in the Innovating for Improvement programme.

I am afraid we would not fund capital expenditure such as for building materials.

Kind regards

Christina Totina
Is it possible to fund the purchase of new equipment to provide a better/faster service.I currently work in the Microbiology/Virology Department and we would love to offer a better service interms of molceular testing. Currently we send tests away, at a significant cost. By moving this in house we could cut costs, provide a faster "better" service to patients who use the service.
Hello, i cannot get past the screening program and I am answering all the answers as the information suggests. Please help
Dear David

Thank you for your interest.

The purchase of large items of equipment is not the type of expenditure we would cover.

Kind regards

Christina Totina
Programme Officer
The Health Foundation
Dear Laura

Thank you for your interest.

I tested the screening tool this morning and it was working.

The screening tool is designed to establish if your project is eligible and can be completed more than once.

If you continue to experience difficulties please contact me at

Kind regards

Christina Totina
Hi there

We would like to test our proposal that Looked After Children's Nurses would carry out higher quality, child and young person outcomes focussed, Looked After Children's Initial Health Assessments.

We would like to train our Looked After Children's Nurses to carry out the Initials (rather than Doctors, which has been the statutory positon in England for many years but not in Wales) and look to identifying our most vulnerable & hard to reach young people in a managed & constantly reviewed process. Our Nurse-led approach to Review HA's has had an extremely positive response & we think we could emulate that success. Could you support this innovation?
Hi Ann

Thanks for your query - we have responded directly via email.

Best wishes

Sophie Bulmer
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