Financial Assessment letters format review - People Bank involvement

Closed 1 Mar 2024

Opened 1 Feb 2024


East Sussex County Council’s Financial Services Team send out a high volume of multi-page documents to clients, family members and representatives. The Team wanted to know whether it would be sufficient to use footers with page numbers on such documents, instead of staples. We asked People Bank members to review this correspondence, and to feed back their preferences and views.

What People Bank members said:

  1. Unanimously, respondents preferred the stapled version, seeing it as easier to read through – though still hard for older or disabled people.
  2. When opening the unstapled pack, the information seemed long winded, repetitive, and hard to navigate.
  3. Use of jargon made the document over-wordy and confusing.
  4. Autistic people (and their parents and support carers) would benefit from the inclusion of visual material to aid understanding.
  5. Suggested improvements were to avoid unexplained abbreviations; to focus on ways people could pay rather than ways they cannot; to communicate the information according to the recipient’s preferences (signed for; tracked; first class); and to split the mailing in two, with the application and information in one letter, and the LPA, AA and PIP in another.

How we responded:

Following your feedback, we will continue to use staples to arrange the documents in the financial assessment outcome letter.

This user testing exercise was specifically focused on whether the letters should be stapled or unstapled with page numbers on footers. The rest of the feedback from People Bank members covers the contents and information of the results letters. A larger project is currently running to address clients’ experience of having a financial assessment. This includes:

  • Improving the language used in financial assessments and documents (including results letters)
  • Making it easier for clients to take part in financial assessments and provide information to us
  • Reducing the time taken to complete financial assessments
  • Gathering more ongoing feedback from clients to continually improve

“Thank you for taking the time to help us make sure we’re doing things right”


  • All Areas


  • Residents of East Sussex


  • Care and support services (adults)