Case Study: Newcastle Hospitals Charity

Background

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest NHS trusts in the UK, with an ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission. As it’s official charity, Newcastle Hospitals Charity (NHC) helps to improve the health and wellbeing of patients, staff, and the wider communities of the trust. The charity supports compassionate and innovative healthcare, education, and research by providing around £35m of support annually for initiatives over and above standard NHS services.

Challenge

Since April 2021, NHC has been implementing an ambitious five-year strategy. Smart Approve was invited to support these efforts by developing a new grant management approval solution. The existing system required staff to complete a basic Word document which they were then expected to email to any relevant people for approval, but it was not always clear who needed to receive the information and when.

The main challenge for Smart Approve was to streamline this process by moving it entirely online and creating a seamless, simple process for everyone to follow. This has expedited the grant application process, making it quicker and easier for NHS staff to get the financial support they need.

Solution

Smart Approve created a bespoke grant making application process for NHC which runs on top of our existing approval platform. The system provides:

  • an online smart grant application form
  • secure logins for all staff, with registrations limited to specific NHS email domains.
  • custom online grant application forms allowing NHS staff to enter full details of their request, including a breakdown of costs
  • the facility to attach any relevant files to grant forms.
  • a tiered approval process allowing specific departments to provide their initial approval before the application is escalated to the charity for final approval
  • a complete audit trail of the entire approval process with every interaction logged.

Client feedback

The Smart Approve team were easy to work with from the start. They took the time to understand our challenges in depth and provide a solution that best meets our needs. The team helped guide us every step of the way to really excel our approval needs.

I would have no problem recommending to other charities that need support with grant management.

Chris Ham, Head of Charity Operations and Planning

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