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Oxford Hospitals Charity celebrates Small Grants Programme

This article is more than two years old.

Oxford Hospitals Charity is celebrating the funding of over £250,000 of projects and improvements through its Small Grants Programme.

The charity launched the scheme in July 2018 and since then over 200 NHS staff have successfully bid for funding of up to £3,000 to make a difference to patients and staff in their hospital areas.

Hazel Murray, Head of Programme at Oxford Hospitals Charity, explains: "Small Grants came out of one of the Trust's Listening events, where it became clear that there was a wealth of great ideas amongst staff of all levels, but the funding to get them off the ground wasn't always available. 

"We immediately saw the potential and within a couple of months launched the scheme, which runs alongside all our other funding routes. We have been overwhelmed by how successful it's been and are delighted at the impact these small pots of funding are having in every corner of the Trust. It's fabulous to be able to work so closely with staff, making their great ideas a reality."

Sir Jonathan Montgomery, Chair of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added. "I am delighted to hear that the Small Grants Programme has funded so many innovations and improvements across the Trust. It's great to empower staff to make positive changes in their area and allow new ideas to come to life. I'd like to thank the charity and its supporters who make this kind of funding possible."

Recent successful bids include: a tracheotomy dummy for  'tea trolley training' in Critical Care; weighted 'zaky hands' to comfort premature babies; dementia-friendly red walking frames to help vulnerable patients; and an app to aid young patients with speech and language difficulties. 

Chris Gough, who works in Critical Care, received a grant in 2019 to help fund the innovative 'tea trolley training' scheme, which brings ten minute slots of bite-size teaching directly to hospital staff in their clinical setting. He said: 

'The equipment that we have purchased through the Small Grants Programme has already allowed us to do over 500 education episodes for staff in the Intensive Care Units - helping transform the way we can ensure that staff are always learning and enhancing their skills whilst still delivering the best care to patients.

"We would like to say a massive thank you to all the donors who have helped us make such an impact across our hospitals."

The latest window for OUH staff to make an application via the charity's website is open until 1 March 2020.

Oxford Hospitals Charity (which includes Horton General Hospital Charity and Oxford Children's Hospital Charity) is the official charity working across the whole of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

In 2019 around £6 million of improvement for patients and staff were funded by the charity thanks to the generosity of the charity's supporters and donors.