skip to main content

Using the site

FAQs about using the site

How do I make sure that I get a good and safe service?

To help you decide whether a service is good and safe and can also meet your needs, it is important that you find out as much information as you can.  The Longer term support and personal budgets webpage provides more information. 

Some services on this site may have been accredited.  This means that they will have met certain standards, and may have been awarded a 'quality mark' or 'kitemark'. You can ask the service provider what they had to do to get their accreditation or quality mark, to help you decide if this service is what you are looking for.  PLEASE NOTE that accreditation and quality marks are NOT awarded by the Council but by third parties.

All services on this site are quality assured.  Please see here for further information.

What is a regulated service?

From April 2010, all health and social care providers providing certain types of services, including personal care at home, were required by law to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of the approval process for this website, the service provider will be asked whether their particular service delivers what is called a 'regulated activity'. If they are, they will be asked to show evidence of being registered with CQC before they can advertise their service.

Services regulated by the Care Quality Commission are monitored to ensure that they meet the national minimal standards for all health and social care set by that organisation.

The aim of the Care Quality Commission is to make sure better care is provided for everyone, whether that's in hospital, in care homes, in people's own homes or elsewhere.

For more information about the Care Quality Commission, click on the following link to the Care Quality Commission home page.

Are any services free of charge?

The service listing will tell you whether the service you are looking at is available free of charge and what you will need to do in order to get this.  You can check the 'nil cost to user' box when browsing through categories, in order to find services which are free to users.

Why do some services have a London Borough of Tower Hamlets logo as part of their listing?

This logo informs visitors to the site that the service has been commissioned by the borough through a competitive procurement process.

How do I make sure I get a service that meets my needs?

The provider will plan with you the support you need. Once you have agreed this support, the provider should tell you (depending on the type of service):

  • What support you will be getting for your money
  • What day and time you will be getting the support
  • How often you will get the support
  • Who to call if someone does not turn up 
  • You should have this written down on a support plan
How do I give feedback about the services I have received?

Anybody who has created an account will be able to give feedback on any service.  When you do this, your details will be anonymous to the provider.  Your feedback will be added to a 'star rating' which tells other people what you thought about the service.  These ratings will be hidden for the first few months  to give providers time to acrue ratings.  Comments will be forwarded to the provider and the Council, to help improve services. 

We are looking into having these comments, where appropriate, added to the national NHS Choices website. 

What do I do if I am unhappy with any of the services?

After you have received the service, you will be asked if you would like to give some comments about it. You can do this without giving any details about yourself. Your feedback will be added to a 'star rating' which tells other people what you and others thought of the service.

If you feel that you are not getting the service that was agreed, you can complain directly to the provider. The provider will have information on how to do this.  If you are still unhappy, please see the Council's Complaints webpage.  Please remember, although the Council does wish to have input as to how users find the services, the Council is not responsible for them - that is the responsibility of the provider. 

A useful website for initial consumer advice is the Citizen's Advice Consumer Helpline.

How do I find listings for other types of services which are not necessarily specifically aimed at people with adult social care needs?

There are various local and national directories of different types of services available to people living in Tower Hamlets. 

Local Offer

The Local Offer contains information about services that are available to children, young people and families in Tower Hamlets. It includes information and advice about the help on offer for children and young people with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) from birth to 25 years.

Idea Store Online Directory

The Idea Store Online Directory contains listings of health services, local groups, clubs and organisations in Tower Hamlets.  This directory also hosts two sub-directories, Make a Change and In the Know. 

Make A Change

 A listing of services which assist people to maintain healthy lifestyles.  Areas covered include:

  • Alcohol and substance misuse
  • Health eating
  • Physical Activity
  • Sexual Health
  • Smoking cessation
  • Patient Education

In the Know - services in Tower Hamlets that help you or someone you care about to manage and improve mental health and wellbeing

NHS Choices

Information from the National Health Service on conditions, treatments, local services and healthy living.

Tower Hamlets Healthwatch Find a Service

Lists local providers of health and social care services and allows people to leave ratings for organisations. 


Borough-by-borough social welfare resource Search advicefinder for borough-based agencies, services that work across London and national advice and information providers.

Activities & events

What's On - Calendar of regular activities and one-off events for all ages.

What's On? - Festivals and events page covering Tower Hamlets' vibrant arts scene, for all ages.  

Helpful commercial services

Many service users ask us how they can find commercial services useful to them, as these are not listed in any of the directories above.  We are not able to recommend any of these services, however, we list below some links through as a starting point which will assist you to find local providers.  Please note that use of these services is at your own risk.  You can look at any ratings and recommendations from other users of this site, and also try a search on the Google search engine which may also reveal comments about particular services. 

Domestic cleaning

Dog walking



Laundry delivery

Mobile beauticians

Mobile hairdressers

Window cleaning

What is a personal budget?

A personal budget gives you choice and control in deciding for yourself what support you want and how you get it.  Please see the Longer term support and personal budgets webpage for more information.

How do I get a Personal Budget?

To get a personal budget, you need to be an adult aged over 18, living in Tower Hamlets and have eligible social care needs.  Please see the Longer term support and personal budgets webpage for more information.

What is a carer?

If you are caring or arranging the care for someone else who is ill, frail or disabled, who is not able to care for him or are a carer.

Find out more about advice for carers on our advice and information pages relating to carers.

What does safeguarding mean?

We all have the right to live our lives free from abuse. It is recognised that certain groups of people may be more likely to experience abuse and less able to access services or support to keep themselves safe. One such group is people with community care needs. This group may include people with:

  • a learning/physical/sensory disability
  • mental ill health or dementia
  • frailty due to age
  • acquired brain injury
  • a drug/alcohol problem
  • certain types of physical illness

Abuse can be:

  • Physical - such as hitting, slapping, rough handling, misuse of medication, misuse of restraint
  • Sexual - making someone carry out a sexual act they have not or cannot consent to
  • Psychological - such as threats or humiliation
  • Financial - such as theft of money/possessions, misuse of someone's benefits
  • Neglect - such as a carer not meeting a person's care or health needs
  • Discriminatory - any form of abuse based on discrimination because of a person's race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation etc
  • Institutional - abuse or poor practice throughout an organisation
  • Abuse can be perpetrated by anyone - relatives, partners, friends, care workers or strangers - and can happen anywhere.

If you are concerned that an adult has been or is being abused, report this to the council:

To report abuse

Ring the First Response Team on 020 7364 5005. You can also email or complete an alert form and send it to

Visit one of our libraries, one stop shops or leisure centres for support in helping you report abuse.

To report abuse to police please contact the Tower Hamlets Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub on 020 3276 3501 or email

For non-emergency police matters please dial 101. If you are at immediate risk, please call the police on 999. 

For further information please visit the London Borough of Tower Hamlets Safeguarding webpage.