Independent living support and staying safe at home

February 6, 2024

If you struggle with everyday tasks, due to a disability or a health condition you may be able to get support in the form of home adaptations or equipment to help you to use or move around your home.

How can I get support with home adaptations or equipment?

If you, or someone you know, needs help to do everyday tasks, you can complete an online self-assessment form or contact the Health and Social Care Connect team at Adult Social Care to request an Equipment, Adaptations and Mobility Assessment .

Alternatively, your GP can refer you for the assessment, which is free and evaluates how you manage everyday tasks, move around your home, and recommends changes to your home or equipment to help you.

You can contact Health & Social Care Connect for further advice or to request an assessment via:

 Tel: 0345 608 0191


Website: Contact HSCC


What can I do if I’m not happy with the assessment?

If you’re not happy about your home assessment, you have a right to complain to East Sussex County Council, which has a formal complaints procedure on its website: ESCC feedback and complaints

If you’re not happy with the way the council handles your complaint, contact the local government and social care ombudsman who can investigate individual complaints.


Can my home be made safer so that I can move around easier?

Your Equipment, Adaptions and Mobility Assessment might identify that you require

Home adaptations which are changes to your home that make it safer and easier for you to move around and do everyday tasks.

These changes can be small or big and may include:

  • fitting a stairlift or a banister on the stairs
  • adding a bath lift, walk-in shower or a rail you hold to pull yourself out of the bath (grab rail)
  • widening doorways
  • lowering kitchen worktops
  • putting in an outdoor ramp or step rail
  • security, such as outside lights and intercom systems

Home adaptations that cost under £1,000 are usually provided free of charge. If your assessment shows you need a bigger change to your home, this can be arranged with your local district or borough council.

You may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant to pay for large adaptations like walk-in showers and stair lifts. This funding is means-tested and can pay for some or all of the cost. You can apply for a grant from your district or borough council:

Charities supporting people with specific conditions and impairments might also offer grants. Independence at Home is a charity that gives grants to disabled people or people with a long-term illness who need financial help.


Can I get equipment to help me do everyday tasks?

If your Equipment, Adaptions and Mobility Assessment identifies that you are eligible for equipment to help at home, this will be arranged for you and provided, free of charge, by the East Sussex Community Equipment Service (ESCES).

ESCES, run by Millbrook Healthcare provides equipment to people of all ages in the community, including residential homes and nursing homes. They cover the East Sussex County Council boundary for those with health or social care needs, or for those with health needs who reside outside of the boundary, but who are registered with an NHS East Sussex GP.

The service includes delivery and installation, servicing and maintenance, and collection of equipment that has been ordered for you by your healthcare professional.

Daily living equipment may include:

  • items to raise your chair or bed
  • shower chairs/bath lifts
  • raised toilet seats
  • Commodes


What if I have equipment already on loan from ESCES?

If you have equipment on loan provided by the East Sussex Community Equipment Service which needs to be returned, repaired or you are moving, contact Millbrook Healthcare:

Phone: 0333 240 0599

Open 8.30am to 5pm, 7 days a week including bank holidays (except Christmas Day).


Can I buy my own equipment?

If the product you’re looking for is not covered under NHS or social care provision, you can purchase your own equipment from suppliers using the East Sussex County Council directories:


What should I do if I think I need to use a wheelchair?

The East Sussex Wheelchair Service  provides free assessments for people with mobility and other postural problems, supplies wheelchairs, pressure care cushions and accessories for wheelchairs.

If you have never used the Wheelchair Service before, you will need a referral from a qualified healthcare practitioner. This could be your:

  • General Practitioner (GP)
  • Occupational Therapist / Physiotherapist
  • Hospital Consultant

All referrals will be triaged by an Occupational Therapist and if appropriate, you will be offered an assessment to determine your clinical need. Assessments can be held in a variety of locations e.g. clinic, at home, at a day centre or school.

Following your assessment, if your health needs require you to use a wheelchair, you will be offered an appropriate model, free of charge, from the NHS wheelchair range. Alternatively, you can access a personal wheelchair budget (PWB) of the equivalent value, so you can choose a model outside of the NHS range, provided it meets your clinical needs. If the cost of this model exceeds your PWB, you will be expected to pay the difference in cost.

For more information on NHS wheelchairs, see the NHS beginners guide to wheelchairs


Other support available:

  • Support to stay at home

To find services to help you live safely at home, including home care, meals on wheels, fall alarms and key safes, see ESCC support to stay at home

  • East Sussex Fire and Rescue Safe and Well Visits

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service offer free home safety visits, which can include identifying hazards in the home, providing free smoke alarms and providing advice to stay safe at home.

Contact East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to enquire about a Safe & Well Visit by calling: 0800 177 7069 or for more information see ESFRS home safety visits


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