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Charitable funds can be used for a wide range of costs including research, environmental improvements, pastoral services, team away days, staff training and development, and medical equipment. We are looking for original and innovative ways for the charitable funds to be used, so please talk to the team if you would like to discuss an idea.

How do I apply for funding for my ward or department?

Visit our staff only area on the Trusts Intranet.

Here you will find two versions of the Grant form depending on the value of the application: one for applications under £1,000 and one for applications of £1,000 or above.

What can I apply for?
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Legally, all RUH charitable funds must be used for charitable purposes in relation to the NHS. This section gives guidance on what constitutes legitimate charitable expenditure.

All expenditure must meet the requirements of charity law:

  • Consistent with the Charity’s objects;
  • For a charitable purpose;
  • Will result in public benefit; and
  • In accordance with the donor’s wishes.

Charitable funds must be used openly and honestly and in a way which is accurate, fair, impartial and accountable, above all always considering best value for money.

All grant applications for charitable funds will be considered against the following three tests to ensure that expenditure is in line with these legal requirements:

The patient benefit test
All charitable funds should ultimately be for patient benefit. Such benefit may take the form of improved clinical services and outcomes, or enhanced patient experience. Where the immediate benefit of expenditure is for staff welfare or development, there should be a clear link to improved services for patients, which impact reporting should demonstrate – for example through enhancing relevant staff skills, or encouraging staff innovation.

The additionality test
Charitable funds should enhance, rather than simply maintain, NHS services. Charitable funds should not be used to provide essential equipment or other items without which a department could not function, or for ongoing revenue maintenance costs.

It is appropriate for charitable funds to support innovation in equipment or services, which may later become a mainstream cost. Some applications may be more appropriate for Innovation Panel funding, which does not have the same restrictions as charity funding – contact RUHX to discuss if you’re unsure which would be most suitable for your application.

It is also appropriate for charitable funds to be used for complementary services – e.g. art projects – which enhance the patient experience, but are not part of the core clinical services.

The public perception test
When considering the use of funds, a person should ask themselves:
Would someone who puts a pound in a collecting bucket be happy for it to be spent in this way?

Would you be proud to tell a donor about this expenditure, and the difference it is making?

What do we fund?
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Charitable funds can be used for a wide range of costs including research, environmental improvements, pastoral services, team away days, staff training and development, and medical equipment. Further examples are given below. We are looking for original and innovative ways for the charitable funds to be used, so please talk to the team if you would like to discuss an idea.

Multi year projects will be considered on a case by case basis, but will need to be supported with a
business case and annual budget.

Medical equipment
Applications for medical equipment must show that the equipment will enhance service. You will also need to show that the equipment has been agreed formally through the Medical Equipment Committee, and that the maintenance impact on the revenue budget has been agreed with finance and divisional management.

Staff training
Training requests will be evaluated by the Grants Panel in conjunction with Divisional Management.
The Charity will not support any training that is mandatory as this should be covered by core budget.
Requests for large groups to go on specific training at the same time are unlikely to be approved, as this suggests that the training is mandatory.

We do not fund Masters degrees or further education.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) funding is available for nursing associates, nurses, midwives, and allied health professionals (AHPs) and allows staff access to funding linked to personal professional requirements as well as system and population health priorities. If you fall into one of these staff groups, please apply for CPD funding here

CPD training is managed by the Education Centre – please contact them at ruh-tr.ruhcpd@nhs.net with any questions.

All other training requests need to complete the Charitable Funds for Educational Purposes form here

This forms an agreement with the charity that should the member of staff leave within 2 years of the training taking place, payroll can recover the cost of the training from their salary.

Retrospective spend is not eligible for funding, in line with the Trust’s Policy.

Travel and accommodation
Travel and accommodation costs relating to courses and conferences can be supported. These costs should be included as part of the training request on the Charitable Funds for Educational Purposes form here

Fixtures and Fittings
An application can be made for items that enhance patient or staff areas, that is above and beyond NHS funded fixtures and fittings. For example: a sofa for a staff room, wall art.

Suppliers must be a Trust nominated supplier to ensure fire, and health and safety regulations have been met.

Charitable funds cannot be used for repairs.

Christmas Allowances
Guidance around Christmas expenditure for food/patient gifts is being reviewed. Updated guidance will be published in autumn 2024.

Staff meetings/ away days / team meetings
Away days and team building days are eligible for funding in the following circumstances. Approval should be sought before any activities are booked. No retrospective claims will be accepted.

Some local venues offer charity discounts – please contact us for details of these.

  • A structured agenda must be set for the event with clear aims and objectives.
  • Room hire can be included.
  • External team building activities are accepted along with other facilitated events focused on supporting team working.
  • Activities/events must be open to all in the team and cost less than £25 per person.
  • Refreshments may be included but this should not be the main focus nor proportion of the expenditure.
  • No alcohol can be bought using charitable funds.
  • Meals in restaurants or activities such as Spa Days are not classed as team building and will not be allowed – as this would be classed as a benefit in kind by HMRC and therefore tax would have to be paid on the expenditure.

Enhancement of patient experience
Applications which will enhance patient experience are encouraged. This includes refurbishment of patient areas.

IT purchases (including computers, tablets, mobile phones, laptops) are eligible for funding. All IT purchases must be in line with the Trust’s overall IT strategy and must be safe, secure and supportable by the Trust’s IT department. All IT purchases must go through IT and not be made by the individual, to ensure compatibility with existing systems.

Organising conferences will be considered on a case by case; and year by year basis. A detailed spending plan and agenda, along with details of awards/prizes/free gifts are required in order for these events to be considered for funding. Please contact RUHX to discuss the requirements before submitting an application.

Contractors and fixed term staff
In line with HMRC IR35 rules on contractors, applications can be for a maximum of a 6 month contract. We have the right to review this guidance on an ongoing basis, to ensure compliance with employment law.

Sports teams
Applications for sports teams can be considered. Any kit purchases should include RUHX branding.

What we don’t fund
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  1. Items that are business as usual and are therefore covered by your core budget.
  2. Ongoing revenue costs for maintenance of any item, including those purchased by charitable
    funds. Ongoing consumables are also not supported.
  3. Alcoholic drinks and gifts
  4. Staff parties and/or outings that do not have a work related benefit, for example spa days or afternoon teas
  5. Gifts to members of Trust staff
  6. Spend on uniform such as lanyards, fleeces / hoodies, and polo shirts
  7. Ongoing (meaning not for a one-off event) food and drink on wards for staff will not be supported
  8. Requests for funding for IT that is not safe, secure or supportable by the Trusts’ IT department. Any purchase must be in line with the Trust’s overall IT strategy.
  9. Hardship funds and financial support for Trust staff.
  10. Professional memberships
How long will it take to get a decision?
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  • Applications below £1,000 will receive a decision within 1 month
  • Applications between £1,000 – £24,999 need to be submitted at least 3 weeks before the next Funding Panel. Panels take place quarterly – see the timetable below for exact dates. You’ll receive a decision within 2 weeks of the funding panel.
  • Applications above £25,000 need to be submitted at least 3 weeks before the next Funding Panel. You’ll receive a decision within 6 weeks of the funding panel (as these applications must also be approved by the Charities Committee).
Deadline for applications Panel meeting date Charities Committee date
10th July 2024 31st July 2024 23rd September 2024
14th October 2024 4th November 2024 2nd December 2024


  • Applicants who wish to resubmit a previously rejected application should contact RUHX (grants@ruhx.org.uk) for advice before resubmitting

We are here to help

Please contact us if you need help or to discuss your funding request. Any grants over £25,000 we recommend contacting us before completing the applications to discuss in more detail.

Email: grants@ruhx.org.uk
Phone: 07826 923650