Buyer's Guide

Useful information for using the Connect to Support Hampshire Marketplace

Buyer's Guide

      About the Marketplace directory

      Connect to Support Hampshire is commissioned by Hampshire County Council and managed, on the Council’s behalf, by Public Consulting Group Ltd (PCG).

      This directory brings together in one place providers offering services which can help Hampshire residents to stay independent and well. All providers listed in this directory have agreed to abide by our Code of Conduct.

      Neither PCG Ltd nor Hampshire County Council check, recommend or endorse any of the providers listed in this directory. It is for you to consider and decide whether the particular provider and service is right for you.

      Neither Hampshire County Council nor PCG Ltd will be responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of using the site. You need to make your own checks and feel comfortable about the services you are purchasing.

      The information below may help you when choosing services.

      Safety and quality of the service or product

      1. Have you read the County Council Code of Conduct?
      2. Are there any particular kite marks, checks or accreditations you would expect to see?
      3. Make sure you know how to stop or cancel a service.

      What will it cost?

      1. When you make initial enquiries, ask for quotes.
      2. You can make enquiries to several providers to help you compare value for money.
      3. If you are not sure, ask for a further breakdown or explanation from the provider.
      4. Ask for it in writing (email is fine) before you agree to anything.
      5. Think about how you would like to pay - credit card, PayPal, debit card, invoice and so on.
      6. Make sure the provider knows what you want and that you have all the information you need to help you make an informed decision.

      We advise people purchasing services through providers listed in the Marketplace directory to seek confirmation and make transactions via email and online, rather than by phone. This gives you a traceable record.

      What to do if things go wrong

      1. Tell the provider and ask them what they will do to put things right and by when.
      2. If there is still a problem ask about their complaints procedure.
      3. Check they are working within the County Council's Code of Conduct. If you think they are not working within the Code, remind them about it and report it by phone to PCG Ltd on 03300 582 690 or email
      4. If they are registered with the Care Quality Commission, such as a care home or a provider of personal care at home, contact the Care Quality Commission for help to resolve the problem by phone on 03000 616161 or online at
      5. If you pay for care home fees or domiciliary care yourself and are not satisfied with the way your complaint has been dealt with, or feel unable to talk to the care provider contact the Local Government Ombudsman by phone on 03000 610614 or online at
      6. If someone has been harmed, or if they could be harmed by something a provider has or has not done, raise a safeguarding concern with the County Council by phone on 0300 555 1386 or online at
      7. If you require consumer advice in relation to goods or services you have purchased, you can contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service by phone on 0808 223 1133 or find advice online.

      Using the Marketplace Messaging function

        You can contact individual providers directly at any time by using the contact details provided on their listing.

        However, Connect to Support Hampshire's Marketplace also offers the 'Add to contacts list' feature which is an in-site messaging function that allows you to send messages to multiple providers on the website at once. To use this feature, you will need to register for an account on Connect to Support Hampshire and then log into your account.

        The 'Add to contacts list' feature is easy to use:

        Sending a message to provider(s)

        1. Click the 'Add to contacts list' button on the provider(s) you would like to send a message to.

        2. Once you have added all providers to your contacts list, click 'Message providers' in the bottom right corner of your screen.

        3. Complete the short enquiry form and click 'send your request'. Remember to include all relevant details about the service you require so that the provider can give you a suitable response.

        Receiving responses from provider(s)

        1. When you receive a response from a provider, you will receive an email notification. This notification will be sent to the email address you used to register an account on Connect to Support Hampshire.

        2. Log into Connect to Support Hampshire, and click 'My Messages'. This will take you to your personal dashboard. All of your messages are stored in your personal dashboard, and you can see them all here.

        3. Where you have a new message, there will be a green '1 New Response' button. Click on this to open the message.

        4. From the 'Manage Responses' tab, you will be able to see any new responses.

        5. Clicking on these responses will display the conversation history so far and allow you to respond back to the provider should you want to.