Extended deadline for applications - for more information, please read below.

Background and Context

Recognising the impact of the long-term condition that arose from the Covid pandemic, the NHS developed a plan to support people with Post Covid Syndrome (also referred to as long covid/ PCS). In January 2021, the Birmingham and Solihull service commenced accepting referrals from GPs for patients who were suffering with long covid symptoms. This service is delivered through Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC).

During the 1st stage of the Long Covid project, delivered from January to March 2023, 25 community organisations across Birmingham and Solihull conducted at least 3 events each along with other engagement activities. Throughout the engagement events, communities reached benefited from engagement and awareness sessions focused on long covid and the post-covid syndrome service.

What is the Opportunity and what is the Timescale?

BCHC are providing funding for Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) organisations / groups across Birmingham and Solihull to help tackle increasing health inequalities and improve health literacy in relation to Long Covid, by undertaking engagement within their communities. There is particular focus on reaching people from minority ethnic backgrounds and/or people with disabilities or learning disabilities.

The aims of the engagement activities are to:

-        Help tackle health inequalities in relation to Long Covid, with a particular focus on people from minority ethnic backgrounds and/ or people with disabilities or learning disabilities.

-        Enable collaboration with the wider health and social care sector and health professionals as part of undertaking engagement activities (i.e., GPs, BCHC staff, Primary Care Networks).

-        Have a particular focus on health promotion and prevention by collaborating with BCHC colleagues.

-        Raise awareness of Post Covid (Long Covid) symptoms and self-management.

-        Increase the awareness of the Post-Covid Syndrome (Long Covid) service at BCHC and how to access this service.

Funding is available for 30 x VCFSE organisations across Birmingham and Solihull to engage with their communities, as outlined above.

Grants of £5,500 per VCFSE organisation/group for delivery between October 2023 – February 2024 with reporting in March 2024. 

What will be required of organisations and groups?

There are a range of engagement activities which organisations/groups can undertake. There will need to be specific education events held (3 in total), either all in person or a blend of 2 in person and 1 virtually with people in the community, along with conversations through existing services.

Organisations will be encouraged to work collaboratively with professionals across the health and social care sector, as well as supporting health promotion as part of the engagement activities and facilitating connections for other community engagement opportunities. Organisations can adjust the online material in appropriate language to support self-management. We will be particularly interested in organisations offering innovation and collaboration at the heart of their proposal.

We would really welcome applications from the VCFSE sector working closely with Yemeni, Sudanese and Somali communities, however, all ethnic minority communities will be considered.

Full details of activities can be found within the Expression of Interest form.

Support provided and reporting requirements

A briefing information session will be made available to all successful organisations at the start of activities from 10:00 am to 11:30 am on the 5th of October, with health professionals attending to share information on the Long Covid service, objectives of the funding i.e., self-management of symptoms as well as an overview of BCHC and the services it provides. Online meeting details will be provided closer to the date.

Another session will also be made available during the engagement period. 

1:1 support will be provided to organisations/groups throughout the grant period.

Organisations / groups in receipt of funding are required to give timely feedback and evidence of activity to identify outcomes achieved and support learning.

Details of this will be provided with the Grant Agreement and are outlined below:

-        Engage with the research team, if selected, (through online interviews of up to 45 minutes) to help understand the outcomes, aims, and impact of engagement activities within communities.

-        Short questionnaire to be completed in the 3 x dedicated engagement events (link will be provided).

-        Final reporting on engagement activities upon completion including several case studies from patients as a reflection/example of impact and good practice. 

How do we apply to take part?

Please send the completed Expression of Interest form by email to [email protected] by 12pm Friday 29th September 2023 if you wish to be considered.

We will notify you by email by Tuesday 3rd October if you are successful