About the service

Healthwatch East Sussex provides an Information Service to help people access, understand, and navigate the health and care in East Sussex. We also capture people’s experiences in order to help to improve local services. Our trained staff can help you to find out about:

  • Health and care services near to you
  • How to access the support and advice you need
  • What to do if you have a concern or complaint
  • How to share feedback about services

The Information Service is open for incoming calls on weekdays from 10am to 2pm. If the line is busy, please leave a voicemail message and we will get back to you within 3 working days. All calls are charged at the cost of a local call, or included in your tariff.

The number to ring is: 0333 101 4007 or you can email: enquiries@healthwatcheastsussex.org.uk

What our service is not…

  • Our service is not supported by trained clinicians or health and care professionals. This means we cannot offer advice on medical matters. This might include advice and information about medication, queries about a diagnosis made by a doctor or recommendations about a choice of a particular treatment pathway.
  • We are independent from the NHS and East Sussex County Council. Whilst we will use your feedback to improve services, we have no powers to investigate individual formal complaints about them.
  • We cannot offer advice as to the ‘best’ place to go to receive a service or offer an opinion on which service to choose for treatment, care or further information.
  • We are not an advocacy service and so cannot make a complaint to a service on your behalf, however we can make a referral to local advocacy services.
  • We are not able to offer financial, legal or similar specialist advice.
  • If you are troubled and urgently need someone to talk to, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (Phone: 08457 909090, www.samaritans.org)

How we handle your information

We provide a confidential service and make every effort to safeguard your information. You do not have to tell the helpline worker anything you don’t want to, and you do not have to give your name or location. Any information you do give to the helpline will not be shared with any other organisations without your permission.

We record the details of all enquiries securely and use this information to capture trends and help improve people’s experiences of health and care in East Sussex. The records of all enquiries are stored and destroyed in line with our data retention policy.

The only circumstances in which the helpline will break confidentiality are if we believe a child is at risk or you are a vulnerable adult. We will explain during the call if we feel this is the situation and if we believe that breaking confidentiality is the only option to keep you and those around you safe.

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