To be eligible to submit an application as the Lead Organisation, all of the following must apply:

  • your organisation must fall under any of the following categories:
    • Health and Social Care Partnership
    • Integration Authority
    • Local Authority
    • NHS territorial Board (that is those working at a local level)
    • third sector (for example charities, voluntary organisations)
    • not-for-profit organisations (including social enterprises)
    • health or social care providers (that are not national public sector bodies or private providers), or
    • housing organisations.
  • you should have senior sponsorship from your local Health and Social Care Partnership/Integration Authority(ies) or the relevant national partnership forum/network
  • you are from the organisation within which the project is being tested
  • your organisation must be based in Scotland, and
  • your organisation must be legally constituted[1].

Please note that any organisation can only be the Lead Organisation on one project at a time.

National public sector bodies, for example NHS Education for Scotland (NES), NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), are not eligible to apply as a Lead Organisation, but are still eligible to apply as a Partner Organisation. Please see the Working in partnership section for more information. The rationale behind this decision is that the Improvement Fund aims to support innovative improvement work at a local level, particularly and therefore projects should be led by local organisations. However, we appreciate that support from national public sector bodies may be critical to the success of the project so applications in partnership will be considered.

Private sector organisations can apply for funding as a Partner Organisation only, and are not eligible to apply as a Lead Organisation. Please see the Working in partnership section for more information.

If your organisation does not fall within any of the categories listed above, you may still be eligible to apply as a Partner Organisation. Please see the Working in partnership section for more information.

We will not accept applications from Lead Organisations based outside of Scotland (charities and organisations who are the Scottish arm of a UK organisation are still permitted to apply to the fund), individuals or sole traders.

[1] It may be constituted as a public sector body, a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation, a social enterprise, or a community interest organisation. If the constitution allows the Lead Organisation to make a profit, the Improvement Fund would have to be convinced that it is not supporting private profit-making companies delivering only a small benefit to the public. Where a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation has another arm that is profit making, the Improvement Fund would need to be convinced that the funding is going to the non-profit-making arm.