18th July 2022


The Healthier Futures Action Fund has been made available to support innovation projects that contribute to the delivery of high-quality care, while reducing emissions and improving the sustainability of the NHS. 

The fund is open to any individual or team within the NHS, for bids with a suggested range of between £3,000-£15,000. Applications will be open from 6 July – 19 August 2022. Winners will be announced at the end of September.

What do we want to achieve? 

The aim of this fund is to inspire NHS staff from all parts of the health system to consider turning an idea into action in support of better health care, now and for future generations. While we’re always keen to hear from those already pioneering sustainable progress, we’d love to reach beyond our traditional audiences too, and reach as many as possible.

Key messages 

  • Climate change is a health emergency and in 2020, in response to this profound and growing threat, the NHS became the world’s first health service to commit to a goal of net zero emissions.
  • Nine in ten NHS staff support a net zero NHS because of the benefits it brings for public and patient health, and because sustainable healthcare goes hand in hand with high quality patient care.
  • The Healthier Futures Action Fund was set up to support individuals and teams within NHS organisations to kick-start innovative initiatives or ideas that will improve health and patient care, reduce inequalities, and deliver good value, while supporting a more sustainable health service.  
  • From innovations that will help reduce all kinds of waste, the introduction of sustainable technologies, through to new clinical pathways, active travel, and cleaner air initiatives, the Healthier Futures Action Fund aims to help individuals or teams within the NHS to develop and roll-out a diverse range of health and care improvement projects, processes, products or pathways.  
  • The Healthier Futures Action Fund aims to support even more individuals and teams across the NHS to get involved, with the backing of their NHS organisation, through the provision of grants of up to £15k for those who can successfully demonstrate that their initiative improves patient care or health outcomes, while supporting a more sustainable health service.  
  • Not sure where to start? Here’s some helpful inspiration from NHS people and teams up and down the country who are already pioneering sustainable healthcare solutions: 
  • A surgical team at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has completed the first documented "net zero" operation in the NHS News stories (uhb.nhs.uk) 
  • Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust has e-bikes dedicated to clinical teams for visiting patients allowing staff in urban areas to avoid traffic jams and time spent looking for parking. This low-carbon travel option improves the health and wellbeing patients, staff, and the community. Greener NHS » Pedal power for cleaner healthcare delivery (england.nhs.uk)
  • In Bristol University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust are taking steps to increase the use of alternative surgical anaesthesia options to reduce the use of desflurane, such as switching to lower carbon alternative sevoflurane. Greener NHS » Putting anaesthetic-generated emissions to bed (england.nhs.uk) 
  • The team at St Mary’s Hospital and Charing Cross Hospital initiated a year-long project to improve patient comfort and cut waste through the reduction of unnecessary cannulation in the emergency departments.  Greener NHS » Reducing unnecessary cannulation at Charing Cross Hospital (england.nhs.uk) 

Call to action:

Small steps add up. Apply for the Healthier Futures Action Fund today, to kick-start your sustainable healthcare initiative for better health now and for future generations. Applications are open from 6 July – 19 August 2022.  

Further information:

Visit our NHS Futures page for:

  • Guidance on applications
  • A link through to our applications form
  • Detailed FAQs
  • Further updates throughout the application window and beyond

Thank you for your support in promoting the Healthier Futures Action Fund. If you require any further assistance or have questions, please contact greener.nhs@nhs.net.