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 about because 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 use during short ward based  ‘tea trolley training’ sessions  with NHS staff in Critical Care; weighted ‘zaky hands’ to comfort and secure premature babies in Intensive Care; funding to support a scheme to bring dog therapy to the neuro wards; 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 (pictured), 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.'  

Mabel Eghaghe, Advance Nurse Practioner for Parkinsons, put in a bid for simple to use digital alarms that help nursing teams cope with the large number of drugs that need to be delivered throughout the day to patients with Parkinsons. She explains: ‘There are 1400 Parkinson’s patients across our community and when they are in hospital – often for other issues - it is really important that they receive very regular medication eight times a day. These very simple alarms have been incredibly useful and we are delighted that the charity helped us get this project up and running.’

Small Grants also funded devices to help children in hospital with speech and language difficulties, so they are able to communicate more easily with clinicians, physiotherapy equipment at the Horton to help rehabilitation of patients and a range of items to helps patients with dementia across the hospitals, often involving colours that patients find easier to see and less confusing – these include  including brightly coloured walking frames and toilet seats, specialist painting schemes to help with way finding and create calmer environments and cosy brightly coloured blankets.

Funding has also helped to improve many of the staff areas, particularly for teams who work in operating theatres, to make sure they are able to take their breaks in a comfortable and calm environment.

Small Grants runs along other funding routes from Oxford Hospitals Charity (which includes Horton General Hospital Charity and Oxford Children’s Hospital Charity) -  the official charity working across the whole of Oxford University 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 supporters and donors.

Thank you to all those who make all this good work possible.

If you would like to support the Small Grants Programme, find out more information below. 

Tel: 01865 743 444

Email: [email protected]

Make a donation today    Other ways to support

Do remember to tick the Gift Aid box if you are a UK taxpayer, as that will increase your donation by 25 percent.