Consultation on our proposal to stop offering a Support with Confidence scheme and offer support in a different way instead

Closed 5 Dec 2023

Opened 27 Sep 2023

Results updated 10 Apr 2024

This consultation was about our proposal to stop running the Support with Confidence (SWC) scheme and offer support to residents and providers in a different way. We had intended to keep the directory available online until a final decision was made about the scheme. Following the decision by the licence owner of the scheme, Action for People, to close the scheme, we had to close the directory on 31 December 2023.

Following the SWC scheme closing, a report was taken to the Adult Social Care and Health (ASCH) Lead member meeting on 6 March 2024 for a decision on what support we offer in future. The minutes (and papers) of this meeting can be found here: ASCH lead member 06.03.2024

The decision was made not to create another accreditation scheme, but to work with East Sussex micro providers in a different way whilst continuing to support East Sussex residents with care and support needs. To find out what the decision means for residents and former members of the scheme, as well as what support we will be developing, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions (27/3/2024) document.

Residents can continue to look for services using the following online directories and webpages:

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your views in the consultation.


Our Support with Confidence scheme is a directory of accredited providers offering care and support services in the local area. In July we took the difficult decision to pause the scheme to applications and membership renewals, although the online directory remains available.

We are now proposing to stop running the Support with Confidence scheme and offer support to residents and providers in a different way.

This consultation is your opportunity to share your views on our proposal and shape what we do next. You don’t need to have used the scheme, or be a member who is listed in the directory, to take part.

If you have used the scheme to find a service there is no need to make immediate changes to your current arrangements. 

The survey will take up to 20 minutes to complete and you have the option to use the ‘Save and come back later…’ button at the end of each page if you need more time to finish later. If you would like to see the question topics before you start you can find them in the preview section lower down. 

Please do get in touch with the Support with Confidence team if you want to ask a question about the consultation, share your feedback in another way, request the survey in another format or language, or ask for help to take part.

Our email address and phone number are available in the contact section and our address is Freepost RSKJ-YEXX-LSZJ Support with Confidence, North A Floor, County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes BN7 1UE.

How to get help to take part if you need information in easy read

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Why your views matter

This webpage provides a summary of the consultation, covering the key points. For full details on how we reached this point, what we are proposing and why, please continue to the ‘Consultation overview’ by clicking on the link below.

Consultation summary

Our Support with Confidence scheme has been successful in giving local residents greater choice when selecting services and allowed them to find support that is personalised to their needs. Over the years, it has also developed a strong support offer for the self-employed personal assistants and businesses who make up the membership.    

Over the summer a report was published about the employment status of personal assistants. This raised serious questions about how we were operating the Support with Confidence scheme at that point. We therefore took the difficult decision in July to pause the scheme to applications and membership renewals. This was not a decision we took lightly, as we know the scheme is well used by residents and valued by members, many of whom are concerned about the impact on their livelihoods as a result. 

It is clear, from the legal advice we have received since, that the personal assistant referral service and contingency planning support that we were offering won’t be able to restart. These were key parts of the scheme and without them we don’t think it makes sense to keep offering the Support with Confidence scheme in East Sussex.

We remain committed to giving those with social care needs greater choice and control, and supporting providers and businesses to deliver personalised services to them. The aim of this consultation is to understand what would best help people, providers, and businesses to meet those aims. What you tell us will help us decide what support we could offer to replace the Support with Confidence scheme if the proposal to close it went ahead.

The consultation closes at the end of the day on 5 December 2023. A final decision on what happens next will be made in March 2024. You can share your views by filling in a survey. This can be done online, or you can ask to be sent a copy in the post. If the survey format doesn’t work for you, we can accept feedback via email, letter or over the phone. Scheme members, and those with paused applications, also have the option of attending drop-in events as part of the consultation. Dates for these events will be emailed to members and applicants. 

Privacy information: The main part of this survey is anonymous, and we don't ask you to provide any personal information in it. There is an optional 'about you' section at the end and you can find privacy information when you reach that stage. Please ensure that any comments you make don't include any names or personal details of you or anyone else. You can findour privacy noticeabout how the data will be stored and processed by East Sussex County Council on our website.

Take a look at the survey topics before you start

The questions you are asked will depend on your relationship to the scheme. Those who have used the scheme to find support and members will be asked more questions than those who don’t have personal experience of the scheme.

For those who don’t have personal experience of the scheme you will just be asked what you think about the proposal to stop running it and offer support in a different way, as well as having the opportunity to make any comments you wish.

For those with personal experience of the scheme, there are five pages in the main part of the survey, as well as an optional ‘about you’ section at the end. The questions cover:

  • What you think about the proposal to stop running the scheme and offer support in a different way
  • Your awareness of the scheme
  • How helpful you have found the scheme
  • How you have been affected by the decision to pause the scheme
  • How you would be affected if the proposal went ahead
  • What would be most important to you with any new support
  • What we could do to manage the transition to a new way of working
  • Any other comments you want to make



  • All Areas


  • Businesses
  • Community groups or organisations
  • Public sector groups or organisations
  • User groups or forums
  • Staff
  • Providers of services
  • Residents of East Sussex
  • People who use our services


  • Health and wellbeing
  • Care and support services (adults)
  • Carers support
  • Social care providers