What is the South West London Investment Fund?
The South West London Investment fund was established in September 2022, and this year is in support of the delivery of the South West London Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) Strategic Priorities, as described in our South West London Integrated Care Partnership strategy. The funding aims to give partners the opportunity to suggest innovative projects that could have a big impact on health and wellbeing across South West London. This year we have two parts to the Investment Fund:
ICP Priorities Fund (formerly Innovation Fund)
The new ICP Priorities Fundfor 2023-25 will be targeted to support delivery of the Integrated Care Partnership’s strategic plan and priorities. The fund is divided into two categories with the following distribution of monies:
- ICP Workforce priority has an 80% allocation of funding.
- Remaining ICP priorities and cross cutting themes focussed (excluding health inequalities) has an allocation of 20% of the funding.
The ICP Priorities Fund has a budget of £5 million across the two financial years until March 2025.
The Health Inequalities Fund
The Health Inequalities Fund has been awarded by NHS England to tackle Health Inequalities (Core20+5) across South West London. The Health Inequalities fund for 2023-25 will be for existing and new projects with a distribution of funding of 75% for existing schemes and 25% for new schemes. Place based partnerships within South West London will receive an allocation of the funding using a needs-based approach. Successful schemes will be authorised to run until the end of March 2025. £4.3 million is available to South West London for 2023/24 with a similar value anticipated for 2024/25.
How do I apply for the Health Inequalities Fund 2023-25?
This year there is an online portal for applications to both funds. Each fund has a clearly signposted online application form that can be saved and returned to before submission, the portal contains information on how to apply and also how to access technical support. A detailed financial template and mobilisation plan template has also been established to reduce follow-up queries.
We will be opening for new applications on Monday 2 October and closing for applications at midnight on Friday 10 November 2023.
How do I find out more about the Health Inequalities Fund?
We held an South West London Investment Fund launch event on Monday 2 October 2023 to provide more detail on the application process for both funds. At this event we provided advice and guidance on how to approach applications including finance information. Watch the South West London Investment Fund launch event and download the slide deck.
We are also hosting a series of other online information events throughout October. Find out more about our South West London Investment Fund events.
There is a wealth of information, video instructions and contact details available on the South West London Investment Fund page of our website.
What do you mean by Health Inequalities?
Health inequalities and health inequities are often used interchangeably but have particular and distinct meanings.
World Health Organisation defines Health Equity as “the absence of unfair and avoidable (or remediable) differences in health among population groups defined socially, economically, demographically or geographically.” Health equity is achieved through reduction of health inequalities, health disparities and healthcare inequalities.
Health inequalities refers to the differences in health outcomes between different population subgroups such as differences in how long we live or how long we expect to be healthy. These inequalities can occur across several demographics: gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic groups, geography, religion, sexual preference etc. To reduce health inequalities in South West London, we work together to target the wider determinants of health such as environment, education, income, employment, social and community networks and commercial determinants.
Health disparities refers to a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic and/or environmental disadvantage and is linked to groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health. Examples include the homeless, Roma, gypsy and traveller communities, sex workers, boating community, and offenders/former offenders. In South West London, we work with affected communities to increase health literacy and advance health equity within those communities.
Healthcare inequalities refers to the differences in rates of access/usage of services between population sub-groups. In South West London, we want to achieve an equitable distribution of services. This is where rates of access to a service follows the distribution of need, i.e., a patient with a given level of need in one sub-group has the same chance of accessing a service as their counterpart with a similar level of need in other subgroups.
Is there a particular need that you want projects to focus on?
We are open to any idea that can help us achieve the health inequalities priorities in the South West London Integrated Care Partnership Strategy:
- Addressing the wider determinants of health and wellbeing
- Scaling up innovation to improve outcomes for people in our most deprived areas and our most vulnerable people
- Empowering our communities to improve their health and wellbeing
Kingston and Richmond Places are interested in seeing applications for addressing homelessness.
Who can apply for the Health Inequalities Fund?
Anyone can apply for the fund as long as their project is to improve the population health and reduce health inequalities in the South West London population. By South West London, we mean the population of the London boroughs Croydon, Merton, Kingston, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth. A working knowledge of the population (or sub-population) that the project/intervention will target is essential.
What should the project bid cover?
All projects should consider the structural and social determinants of health and discuss their potential impact on the effective implementation of the intervention(s). If there is a focus on a particular population (for example, gender, race and/or ethnicity), then the reason for this should be justified. We would like projects to try to address differences in intervention access, uptake, and effectiveness in socially disadvantaged groups and develop plans for reducing inequalities.
Applicants must describe the evidence that demonstrates that their intervention is effective and justify why the intervention is likely to also be effective in their selected population(s). Interventions can be behavioural change interventions, interventions that help improve access to primary, secondary, or social care services or interventions that focus on modifying the built environment to improve health (for example, addressing homelessness, improving accessibility of healthy foods, active travel etc). Applicants should also demonstrate that there is a local demand or interest in the proposed project.
Proposals can be for new innovations or can be for implementation of research findings, i.e., exploring how to improve access to and uptake of a proven intervention or service by the people who need it.
All proposals must include a plan for measuring the project’s outcomes (impact on patients/population) and outputs (project deliverables). Health outcomes might not be apparent over the duration of the project period and applicants may instead include plans to measure other proxy health indicators. Examples of outcomes include acceptability, adoption, appropriateness, costs, feasibility, fidelity, satisfaction, and sustainability and service outcomes like efficiency, safety, effectiveness, equity, patient-centeredness, and timeliness.
Who is not eligible to apply for new projects?
We ask that people involved in the reviewing of new projects (whether this be at Place or on the South West London Panel) do not submit a bid. This is to maintain fairness and objectivity.
Can you do more than one bid for the Health Inequalities Fund?
You can be involved in more than one bid for this fund. As long as you are not involved in the reviewing or decision-making process around which bids will be successful.
Can I apply for both the Health Inequalities Fund and the ICP Priorities fund?
Yes you can, if your schemes are different, as the health inequalities fund is specifically for health inequalities, and the ICP Priorities Fund is specifically for the other strategic priorities within our ICP strategy.
Can I submit a project for delivery in more than one Place?
Yes you can. When you fill out your application online, please tick the relevant boroughs that you hope to deliver in.
Can my project be South West London wide or Place only?
We expect applications to be at a Place level. In South West London, we have six Places – Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth. Each of these Places will be involved in the shortlisting of applicants for the new projects. It is likely that projects will be neighbourhood or borough wide and so will be looked at by Place.
However, there may be projects that overlap boroughs or borough boundaries, and these projects are also encouraged. When applications are submitted, a member of the South West London Health Improvement Team will look at the applications and make a decision on which Place applications will be forwarded to.
Why is there a smaller amount of money to bid for this year?
There was feedback from last year’s process that one year was not enough to get a project funded, delivered, and demonstrate impact. This is why this year, there is the opportunity for existing projects to have their funding extended so that they can show their value for money and the difference they are making to reducing health inequalities. Money was set aside (75% of the Fund) to fund these projects.
Where can I get help with filling in the application on the online portal?
There will be support in completing the application form on the portal. We are also holding a series of online advice sessions during the application period to answer questions and provide support and guidance.
Who do I contact for more information?
You can find a host of support, resources and further information on the South West London Investment Fund page of our website. You can also contact us by email on [email protected]
When will I hear an outcome from my application?
Your application will be shared with the relevant Place panel who will review and shortlist the applications between Monday 13 November and Thursday 30 November 2023. These shortlisted applications will then be sent to a NHS South West London Panel. Successful applicants will be notified during the week starting 18 December 2023.
How will conflicts of interest be managed in the shortlisting process?
All Place based reviewers and South West London Panel members will be asked to declare any conflicts of interest. Reviewers and Panel members need to be independent of the process and will not be eligible to review or decide upon applications if they have submitted a bid.
Who might be represented in the South West London Panel?
At a minimum, the membership of the South West London Panel will consist of the Executive Medical Director, the Director of Health Improvement, the Transformation Manager for Prevention and Health Inequalities, and a senior financial director.
Will you be interviewing project leads at the South West London Panel?
We don’t intend to interview applicants for the extension of existing projects unless we are unable to make a decision on funding projects that are to be scaled up to South West London level and then we may interview applicants to aid the decision making.
For new projects, we don’t intend to interview applicants but where we have a number of excellent projects for finite funds, we may invite applicants for interviews.
Will you accept paper or offline submissions for new projects or online portal applications only?
No. Applications for new projects are via the online portal only.
What will happen to system projects funded in 2022/2023?
These projects will be reviewed by the South West London Panel in October 2023.
Will there be reporting arrangements for successful applicants on progress of projects?
Yes, all successful applicants will be provided with reporting arrangements for monitoring performance and deadlines for evaluations by Thursday 1 February 2024. Every application is expected to detail how they will evaluate the impact of their project and the outcomes they hope to achieve.
It is expected that there will be quarterly updates to the Health Inequalities and Improvement Partnership Group. To facilitate this, projects will need to provide monthly updates on their progress to the NHS South West London Health Improvement Team. All projects will be expected to do an evaluation whether this will be annual, or 6 monthly will depend on the project. We expect the first six-monthly evaluations in by Monday 1 July 2024.
Will we have the same process in 2024/2025?
At this stage, it is difficult to confirm. We will wait and see how this year’s process operates and look at the outcomes from the successful projects. We also want to see how current and future projects align and work towards the achievement of the Integrated Care Partnership Strategy’s aims for health inequalities.
Is the fund recurrent and will there be a new allocation for new FY starting April 2024?
The Health Inequalities monies were allocated by NHS England to Integrated Care Boards across the country last year and this year. It is very likely that there will be a further allocation for the year 2024/25 but at time of writing there is no confirmation of what that allocation will consist of for South West London.
As the monies are allocated annually, the money for this year 2023/24 will need to be spent by 31 March 2024, and the funding for your project from 1 April 2024 to the end of March 2025 will be allocated in the financial year 2024/25.
Why is delivery up to March 2025 for successful applicants?
Feedback from last year’s process highlighted that many projects required longer than in-year to deliver their interventions and to evaluate their impact. Extending delivery period to March 2025 will mean that applicants have 12 to 15 months to complete their projects.
If my project is funded this year, does that mean I will be funded in 2024/25 as well?
Your project will be funded to the end of March 2025. This includes funding for this year and next year. You will be required to fill out the details of the amount of money you need each year and how you will spend it in the application form.