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

Innovating for Improvement

In brief

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

*Please note that applications are now closed and will open again in July 2015.*

As part of our Innovating for Improvement programme we look 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.

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

I just wanted to check that the programme was still open to applications and has not closed early before I submit an application?

Many Thanks
Hi Anne-Marie

As of 8:30am on 3 Feb we are still open for applications.

Many thanks

Sophie Bulmer
Once a centre gets past the screening tool and gets positive result what is the scope of application form that needs to be submitted? How many pages and is it possible to access copy of main application form that is due by 10 Feb deadline? NHS team I am collaborating with wants to take stock of work involved in putting in application by 10 Feb deadline. Thank you for your guidance on this.
Good morning, I read a comment above about not supporting procurement of equipment. However, if the equipment is purchased for an innovative solution, such as motion and contact sensors to monitor dementia patients for safety, would you consider funding the project?

Many thanks

Dear Hamid

If the innovation is heavily reliant on the funding of equipment then unfortunately it is not eligible under this programme. It is difficult to say whether your example would be eligible as you do not say how much of the funding would be used towards the purchase of the equipment, but if it is the primary focus of the project and takes up the bulk of the costs then it will probably not be eligible.

If you have any further questions please do email us on

Hi Achala

Thanks for your comment, we have responded directly by email.

Best wishes
would we be better submitting our application from the CCG (we would be supporting our member practices in the implementation and also providing day to day operational management for the period of the initiative) or would this be better coming from the local GP Federation?
Dear Jan

The lead organisation must provide or deliver health services free at the point of care. As CCGs are commissioners rather than direct providers of services, they are not eligible to apply as a lead organisation. They are welcome to apply as a partner organisation.

A GP federation would be fine, but you will probably need to elect one practice to act as the lead applicant as we can only contract with one organisation.

Dear HF Innovation Team

I have only just been made aware of the Innovating for Improvement programme and was hoping to submit an application to fund a Venous Thromboembolism prevention app. Whilst I have most of my application completed and initial interest from National VTE Prevention bodies I have not been able to get an exact costing for the software development in the short timescale I have. I understand that there is another round of funding in July 2015 – is this open for the same categories and criteria? I would prefer to delay to a subsequent round rather than put a rough software cost in possibly prejudicing the application.
Dear Simon

Yes, we will be open again in July and there will be no change to the criteria. You will need to complete a different application form though, so be sure to download the material specific to the round in July.

Hi There

My business partner and I are receiving a grant from Northampton Borough Council to open a yoga cafe in the town centre. This wellbeing hub that we are creating will hold all types of yoga classes focussing móstly on beginners and people with ailments. There will be wellbeing treatment rooms holding such therapies as reiki, thai massage and wellbeing tuition. There will also be a small cafe providing healthy and where possible organic, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free food.

We would like to know if we could be subsidised in order to provide these services at a lower cost and provide people of a lower income the opportunity to receive our treatments without breaking the bank. I realise that we have now missed the deadline but just wanted to find out if this is something that you can offer. If not is there possibly another avenue that we could go down.

Many Thanks in advance
Dear Dani

Thank you for your post. We have responded directly by email.

Kind regards

Christina Totina
Programme Officer

As a level 3 innovation project could NICUs be provided with devices that allow parents to skype/video call to see their babies? Many parents don't get to visit for an immense variety of reasons (jobs, other children at home, other children in hospital, twins in different hospitals, they live very far but the baby requires specialized care, etc). This has been adopted in the US and other countries, and it could be implemented in many other departments across the healthcare sector, for example for patients (children or adults) who are in isolation rooms. Could you support this innovation?

Kind regards,

We have a activitive community organization which needs support to construct a community hall meeting centre.Please help us find the funder to this effect.


Chansa Samangwe
Dear Chansa Samangwe

We do not make unsolicited donations but direct all our funding through our award schemes.

Details of our award schemes can be found by following the "Apply for funding" tab on the front page of our website. All of our award schemes have an application process and clear focus for the funding.

Thank you for your interest in The Health Foundation
We have a website which is a postcode search database of free local services provided by the voluntary and community sector. Our aim is to support people with personal health budgets so that they know what is available for free in their area before making purchasing decisions. We would welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with any organisation interested in developing a project around personal health budgets or services offered by local community organisations that add value to health services.
Hi there - we are a for-profit social enterprise - can we apply?
Dear Bijal Shah
Thank you for your post.
Yes, but you should be able to demonstrate that more than 50% of your work is with NHS-funded patients. Furthermore, if your constitution allows you to make a profit, we would need to be convinced that our funding is not going to be supporting a private profit making company delivering only a small benefit to the NHS.
Kind regards
Christina Totina
Programme Officer
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