Common Ambition A programme for partnerships developing collaborative communities where people, families, health care professionals and researchers work together to improve health care.
Due to the impact of the coronavirus in the UK, we have extended the deadline for expressions of interest to 1 April 2020. All other stages of the application process are also affected, as set out in the revised timetable below.

Imagery for Common Ambition programme

This programme is open for application until 1 April 2020.

  • New £2.1m programme launched for partnerships to improve health care services through collaborative communities.
  • The Common Ambition programme will support up to five ambitious teams across the UK with funding of £300,000 to £500,000 for two to three years.
  • The programme is now open for expressions of interest and will close at 13.00 on 1 April 2020.

The Health Foundation has launched an exciting new £2.1m programme for partnerships developing collaborative communities where people, families, health care professionals and researchers work together to improve health care.

The Common Ambition programme will support up to five ambitious teams across the UK to work towards a shared aim: to build sustainable change across health care through collaboration between those who use services and those who deliver them.

Invitation to apply

We are inviting partnerships between the voluntary and community sector and the NHS to apply for our Common Ambition programme and are offering funding of £300,000 to £500,000 for two to three years. 

We want to support partnerships to make improvements to health care services which are driven by members of the public working collaboratively with health care professionals.   

We believe that voluntary and community sector organisations are vital to this type of collaboration, because of their ability to harness the knowledge and skills in the community. Therefore, we are funding partnerships between the NHS and voluntary and community sector organisations, such as charities and social enterprises.  

We expect partnerships to be able to capture learning, measure impact and create links with local systems. Working with universities, commissioning organisations and local authorities could strengthen the partnerships, and 10% to 30% of grants must be spent on measurement and evaluation activity.

Our support isn’t just financial. We will also provide successful teams with a bespoke package of support – which could include coaching, training, facilitation and learning events – worth between £30,000 and £50,000.

The Health Foundation will commission an independent evaluation of the Common Ambition programme. This programme-level evaluation will draw shared learning from the partnerships, which will help each team to communicate their successes and influence relevant audiences.  

Partnership development events

We held two events and a webinar to offer advice on applying for the Common Ambition programme.

We encourage those who weren't able to attend the events to watch the information webinar

Please note that attending the events or watching the webinar is not a mandatory stage of the application process.

How to apply

Important: All applicants must read the Call for applications in full before submitting an expression of interest. Please note that the Call for applications guidance does not include the revised timetable.

There are three stages to the application process for this programme.

1. Expressions of interest

The programme opens for expressions of interest on Tuesday 18 February 2020 and closes at 13.00 on Wednesday 1 April 2020. 

All partnerships must submit an expression of interest through our online portal grantFlex by the deadline, and late submissions will not be accepted. Applicants will need to register on grantFlex before applying and can ask for support with any technical issues on

A single organisation from each partnership must lead the application process. The lead organisation must submit the expression of interest form. We will only accept one expression of interest per partnership. 

The expression of interest form requires applicants to write answers in response to four questions and statements. Please download an overview of the expression of interest form for more information.

2. Full applications

In early June, we will invite the selected 10 to 20 teams to submit a full application for the programme by 13.00 on Friday 17 July 2020. 

The full application must be submitted on grantFlex by the same applicant that submitted the expression of interest.  

In the full applications, partnerships will be asked to expand on their expressions of interest by submitting detailed outlines of their overall aims, partnership models, measurement and evaluation plans and sustainability strategies.   

3. Assessment days

We will invite each shortlisted partnership to participate in an assessment day at the Health Foundation offices. The assessment days will include group exercises and an interview. The interview panels will include members of the public, health care professionals and Health Foundation staff. 

We will run three assessment days in Autumn 2020.

Revised timetable

The revised timetable for the Common Ambition programme will be amended as the coronavirus situation in the UK develops in the coming months.

Expressions of interest open 18 February – 1 April 2020
Invitation to submit full applications Early June 2020
Deadline for full applications 17 July 2020
Invitation to attend an assessment day August 2020
Assessment days Autumn 2020
Teams notified of final decision Autumn 2020
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