New grants programme: Nurse-led improvement projects in digital health

This Grants Programme is now closed for applications.

Nurse-led improvement projects in digital health

Grants awarded within this programme are likely to be in the region of £25,000 to £50,000.
In exceptional circumstances awards of up to £100,000 may be considered.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a renewed focus on digital health – defined as the process of using information technology, digital hardware and devices, software and the Cloud, and the collection of data to measure clinician interventions. Digital health can transform the way we deliver patient care: making it safer, leading to better patient outcomes and improving efficiency in the way health services are planned and delivered.

The NHS has struggled to implement many digital health solutions due to cost, organisational obstacles and lack of buy-in from hard-pressed staff. In 2016 Professor Robert Wachter carried out a review of IT in the NHS at the request of the then Health Secretary, concluding that the NHS did not have enough staff with digital health skills to support a successful whole-system move to digitalisation of records and processes. In response the NHS Digital Academy was established to train a number of NHS staff to become change agents in their organisations. To date, nurses have been underrepresented in the three cohorts that have received training, with managers greatly outnumbering clinical staff. The good news is that system leaders, such as Health Education England, are now acknowledging that digital health will only succeed when there are health and care staff with the skills to implement it and who are supported at every stage. Three areas identified by nurse leaders as requiring support in implementing digital health solutions are: communication and culture; governance and project management; and leadership.

Burdett Trust believes that through the COVID-19 pandemic nurses have emerged as true change agents in the digital space as they innovated at scale to care for patients. In response to the pandemic nurses have fast-tracked many nascent digital health initiatives such as remote monitoring of patients and virtual clinics. However, it is clear that many nurses leading digital health initiatives would benefit from wraparound support to help them make their digital projects successful and sustainable. This Burdett Trust grant programme will give nurses the opportunity to use the insight they have gained from working on the frontline to model new ways of working that can lead to transformational change in the way patient care is delivered.


Please ensure that you have downloaded and read the grant guidance materials and applications questions in advance of submitting your application. All applications must be submitted using the link provided. Applicants will be asked to submit the password provided at the Change Agents Framework webinars.

All Burdett Trust grant programmes focus on projects that are nurse-led and demonstrate an innovative approach. The Trust’s grant programmes are not designed to support projects developed and undertaken by individuals and the Trust cannot award grants to private sector organisations.

Applicant organisations must be:

• properly constituted bodies in the public or voluntary/charity sectors; or
• a university or other charitable educational body that provides health-related education, training or research and development.


The deadline for applications is 5pm Sunday 30th May 2021

Online application form:

Supporting Documents:

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