What to do if something goes wrong

Sussex Oakleaf receives many comments and suggestions on the way it works, most are positive but if you have had a negative experience then it is important that you feel comfortable letting us know.

You do not need to be a client of one of our services to make a complaint. You could be a family member of a client, a health and social care professional or any interested party affected by a service which we provide.

We aim to make our complaints procedure fair, accessible, and confidential. There are three stages to our complaints procedure and you can seek external support for your complaint at any time (see overleaf for details).

You are welcome to make a complaint anonymously and we will continue to follow the same procedure. However, we will be unable to let you know of the outcome or request further information which may impair our ability to fully investigate the complaint.

Our complaints procedure

Stage 1

If you have a complaint, then a member of staff will work with you to try and remedy the situation as quickly as possible. We take all complaints seriously and treat them in total confidence. You can let us know your views by speaking to any member of staff or volunteer. You can also send us an email, write a letter, telephone us or contact us through social media.

Even if you don’t want to make a formal complaint we may record details of your feedback so that we can continue to monitor what is going well and what isn’t going so well in our services.

Stage 2

If we were unable to resolve your complaint at Stage 1 then you may wish to make an official complaint. You will need to put this in writing and either send it to us using the contact details on the reverse of this leaflet or pass it to a member of staff. You must be as detailed as possible and include your contact details. You can ask any member of staff to help you to write your complaint.

We will contact you within five working days to let you know who will be dealing with your complaint, how to contact them, and when you should expect a response.

We will let you know the outcome of your complaint within twenty working days from the receipt of your original complaint.

If more time or information is required, you will be notified along with an explanation for the delay.

Stage 3

If you are not happy with the outcome from Stage 2 then you may appeal to the Sussex Oakleaf Chief Executive. You have two weeks from the date that you were notified of the outcome to make this appeal. You will need to explain why you feel that the issue has not been resolved.

The Chief Executive will contact you within five working days to let you know that your appeal has been received and explain what will happen next.

The Chief Executive will set up an appeal panel made up of themselves, a member of the Sussex Oakleaf Board and a Sussex Oakleaf client representative. The panel will seek any information required and investigate if needed. You may request to give evidence in person to the panel if you wish.

Once the investigation is completed and a decision has been made, you will be notified of the outcome and any action being taken. You will receive this notification within 30 working days from receipt of your original appeal.

If you are not happy with the outcome, then you have the right to appeal to an external body. You may also contact these external bodies at any stage during your complaint. Please see below for details.

Getting help to make a complaint

Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman
0300 061 0614

Healthwatch - West Sussex
0300 012 0122

Healthwatch - Brighton & Hove
01273 23 40 40

Local Commissioning Unit
Please ask a member of staff to find out how to contact a Local Commissioning Unit.