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Buyers' guide

West Sussex Connect to Support has a range of ways to help you live independently. Some of these are free or low-cost local community activities and some are products and care services which you can purchase in an electronic market place (like Amazon).

Whilst we have been thoughtful about bringing this information together, West Sussex County Council and/or Shop4Support will not be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of using the site.

Stores in the electronic marketplace

Before providers can be admitted to the electronic market place they must agree to abide by the County Council Code of Conduct. You may wish to check the Code so you are aware of how the provider should operate.

We advise people purchasing products and services through the electronic market place to seek confirmation and make transactions on line, rather than by phone. This gives you a traceable record.

Before you order, think about your personal situation - and what it is you want to achieve

  1. Have you completed a self assessment?
  2. Have you had an assessment of needs and been told by West Sussex County Council that they will pay for some of your support?

Whether you are funding yourself or using a Direct Payment from the County Council, there are some things you should think about before buying care and support. We have produced this simple checklist to help you when choosing products and services.

Safety and quality of the service or product

  1. Have you read the County Council Code of Conduct?
  2. Are there any particular kite marks, checks or accreditations you would expect to see?
  3. Have other customers left feedback or ratings and are these favourable
  4. Make sure you know how to stop a service or return a recently purchased or faulty product.

What will it cost?

  1. When you make initial enquiries ask for quotes.
  2. You can make enquiries to several providers to help you compare value for money.
  3. If you are not sure, ask for a further breakdown or explanation from the provider.
  4. Ask for it in writing (email is fine) before you agree to anything.
  5. Think about how you would like to pay - credit card, PayPal, debit card, invoice and so on.
  6. Make sure the provider knows what you want and that you have all the information you need to help you make an informed decision.

What to do if things go wrong

  1. Tell the provider and ask them what they will do to put things right and by when.
  2. If there is still a problem ask about their complaints procedure.
  3. Check they are working within the County Council's Code of Conduct. If you think they are not working within the Code, remind them about it and report it by phone on 0333 600 6330 or online at www.westsussexconnecttosupport.org.
  4. If they are registered with the Care Quality Commission, such as a care home or a provider of personal care at home, contact the Care Quality Commission for help to resolve the problem by phone on 03000 616161 or online at www.cqc.org.uk.
  5. You can contact Healthwatch West Sussex, the local consumer champion for health and social care by phone on 03000 120122 or online at www.healthwatchwestsussex.co.uk.
  6. If you pay for care home fees or domiciliary care yourself and are not satisfied with the way your complaint has been dealt with, or feel unable to talk to the care provider contact the Local Government Ombudsman by phone on 03000 610614 or online at www.lgo.org.uk.
  7. If someone has been harmed, or if they could be harmed by something a provider has or has not done, raise a safeguarding concern with the County Council by phone on 01243 642555 or online at www.westsussex.gov.uk.
  8. If you require consumer advice in relation to goods or services you have purchased, you can contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service by phone on 08454 04 05 06 or online at www.adviceguide.org.uk.

And finally - remember you can help other customers by providing feedback about services and products you have purchased on the website, so that when they are making decisions they can see what others thought. Please be one of the "Experts by Experience" - even if you are reporting your concerns elsewhere your comments on the website may help others.

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You can use this form to register any query or complaint you may have about this website or any of the content within it. Simply fill in the details below and this will be sent directly to us to investigate. We will always try and respond within one working day.

Page Reference: Buyers guide

However if you have further concerns about internet safety and would like further independent advice, please select the CEOP button below.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre Internet Safety
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If you need help using shop4support call the shop4support Helpdesk on
0333 600 6330 or email info@shop4support.com

If you have a question about social care, please contact your council.
Find out who your council is here.