Compassionate Communities funding to support patients who are waiting for treatment

There are currently around 260,000 patients waiting for treatment across the four acute hospitals in north west London. This includes around 100,000 waiting for treatment across Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. 

We understand that being on a waiting list for a significant period of time can be difficult for patients and present challenges around managing their health and wellbeing.

As part of our efforts to address the impact of long waiting lists, we are working in partnership with Imperial Health Charity to provide extra support in the community. 

Supporting local communities to wait well

Through the Compassionate Communities programme, community organisations in north west London whose initiatives help our patients to ‘wait well’ will be able to apply for extra funding to support these activities.

Following a successful pilot in 2020/21, which focused on helping people most affected by the hidden impacts of Covid-19, the charity is relaunching Compassionate Communities with a further £250k in funding to support voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in north west London. 

We know these organisations are well placed to support local people in their communities, and the funding will help them provide activities that improve the health and wellbeing of people who are waiting or struggling to access healthcare services.

Addressing waiting list health disparities 

This round of funding will focus on projects that help people waiting for treatment and enable them to ‘wait well’. 

With significant disparities among groups from deprived communities awaiting treatment, one of the programme’s two focus areas is prehabilitation – funding for projects that provide ongoing physical and mental health support to residents waiting to access healthcare services.

The second focus is peer support and community groups – funding for projects that bring people together with shared healthcare and community experience to provide advice and support to others.

Apply for funding and get involved

Organisations will be able to apply for up to £50k to support projects that will run for between one and two years. To be eligible, organisations must have been running for at least three years and have a turnover of £500k or less.

They must also be delivering activities and services in at least one of the eight north west London boroughs. The deadline for applications is 1 November.

We would like to hear from you if you:

  • are currently working with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations that are supporting people in north west London who are waiting for treatment so we can help get them involved and support their application
  • have any insights or ideas about how we can support our patients to ‘wait well’
  • would like to find out more about the Compassionate Communities funding programme. 

Please get in touch with Dr Liz Bennett – Strategy, Research and Innovation Programme Manager (

You can visit the Imperial Health Charity's guidance on funding for community projects to find out more.