How we work
We work closely with, and provide the majority of our funding to, Barts Health NHS Trust and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD). Our unique collaboration delivers outstanding developments in healthcare owing to a number of factors:
Building on excellence: Our funding goes to two of the UK’s leading healthcare institutions, enabling them to build upon nationally (sometimes internationally) renowned levels of care and world-leading research.
Local relevance, global impact: Barts Health serves a highly ethnically diverse population. This has important implications for the nature of ill-health experienced and how it is treated. SMD research provides key insight into these issues to improve care for local people. But the ethnic diversity also means the findings of research are relevant to many other populations around the world.
Strategic support: Our primary goal is to enhance the health and wellbeing of the many millions of people served by Barts Health. To maximise the impact of our funding we focus upon areas of excellence which reflect the joint strategic priorities of Barts Health and SMD.
Integrating research and clinical care: SMD research is tightly integrated with Barts Health services. This ensures that research addresses the key issues facing local populations, helps clinicians contribute to research, enables more patients to take part in studies, and provides a pathway for advances in research to feed rapidly into clinical practice.
Catalytic funding: Our ‘pump-priming’ of research enables researchers to generate preliminary data to support funding applications to major funding bodies – bringing in millions of extra pounds for research. In addition, our funding enables Barts Health to pilot innovative models of care delivery, paving the way for their wider adoption in the NHS.
Unrivalled population health data: North east London benefits from a groundbreaking collaboration across Barts Health hospitals and local primary care, creating a shared data infrastructure going back 30 years and spanning 1.2 million people – a globally unique platform supporting research and improved patient care.
Our strategic principles
We will focus on areas that are identified by Barts Health and SMD as delivering their strategies and longer-term vision. This can include:
- Areas that have potential for growth/transformational
- Areas where there is a clear role for our funding to play a pump priming / catalytic role to leverage further funding and
- Areas that build research capacity or lead to enhanced service delivery where other funders or revenue sources cannot/or do not
As the dedicated charity for Barts Health hospitals we will continue to provide immediate support for patient care, staff training and wellbeing through our hospital focussed fundraising (and relevant restricted funding). These will link to local Hospital and Trust priorities to ensure donor money is used to best impact.
We may look to pilot the support of multidisciplinary approaches to improving health with our partners e.g. translation of research findings to patient benefit through drug and device development, health service delivery and implementation research or more community focussed healthcare projects. However, before approaching these areas we will discuss and agree a framework with Trustees so that potential applications are considered against this framework.
Our finances and their oversight
We are a significant charitable foundation with gross assets at 30 September 2020 of £470m and total income in FY19/20 of £19.8m. In recognition of capital gains made in the endowment over recent years, and the demonstrable need for additional funding to address the healthcare challenges of our communities, the Board has agreed to a spending target averaging £30m per year cross a rolling five year period. We aim to sustain this by carefully managing costs, and by growing income from our portfolio and from fundraising.
The role of the Finance and Audit Committee is as follows:
Finance To take delegated responsibility on behalf of the Board for overseeing all financial aspects of the Charity so as to ensure its short and long-term viability while recognising that investment management is the responsibility of the Investment Committee. Advising on overall financial strategy is an important part of this.
Audit To take delegated responsibility on behalf of the Board for ensuring that there is a framework for accountability; for examining and reviewing all systems and methods of control both financial and otherwise including risk analysis and risk management; and for ensuring the Charity is complying with all aspects of the law, relevant regulations and good practice related thereto.