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Robert Owen Communities

Robert Owen Communities (ROC) - Supported Living : Exeter and East Devon
  • Organisations we regulate,
  • Care in your home and supported living


Run by Robert Owen Communities, Domiciliary Care East Devon provides care in people's homes, supporting 30 people across Honiton, Exmouth and Exeter. People who use the service include those with learning disabilities, mental health problems, and sensory and physical disabilities.

We inspected the service on July 2014 as part of our second wave of pilot inspections using our new methodology as we had not inspected the service previously.

We met one person at home and 10 people in two supported living settings and spoke with two relatives.

In the supported living settings we visited, people had their own rooms and shared a kitchen, dining room and lounge.

We spoke with nine staff and observed people's interactions with staff in the services we visited.

We visited the agency's office in Exeter and spoke with the registered manager and the regional manager.

We looked at four people's care records, four staff records, and at the office systems for monitoring the quality of the service. We contacted local authority commissioners of the service and other health and social care professionals to obtain their views about the agency and received feedback from four of them. We also obtained feedback from two lay advocates that worked with people.

Managed risk

Our inspection report commends the service for its person-centred approach, with people's care based around their individual needs. The staff found positive ways to manage risks, giving people as much independence and freedom of choice as possible – and encouraging them to become active members in their local community. Some of the innovative ways the service helped to keep people safe while still supporting their independence included:

  • Developing people's risk assessments with them and reviewing them as needed.
  • Compiling 'keeping safe' packs for people that used the service, which provided safety information in accessible formats – such as pictorial and easy-read information.
  • Helping people to use public transport safely.

Inspector Marjorie O'Sullivan explains, "It was a real privilege to inspect this service and to see the how people were being supported to live their lives. Staff truly treated people like they would like to be treated themselves, so they passed 'the Mum Test' with flying colours. Each person was living their own life supported by enthusiastic and dedicated staff. People and staff had developed really meaningful relationships with one another and were like an extended family. Staff were committed to the people they worked with and were proud of their achievements."

A strong vision

Other areas of strength that the report identified include:

  • The service encouraged people to make sensible choices over healthy eating and to get regular exercise.
  • It consulted the people it supported over the running of the service, making sure their views were taken into account.
  • Staff were given access to a wide range of training that was relevant to the needs of people using the service.
  • The service showed strong leadership leadership, with managers leading by example.

"I was really impressed with how people were involved in staff training, quality monitoring, training staff and influencing the future of the service," Marjorie comments.

"I was particularly struck by the examples of good leadership I found at every level. They had a strong vision that was well communicated and understood by all their staff. Senior staff embodied the behaviours of valuing people and treated their staff in exactly the same way. From trustees to care staff, they set high expectations about what was expected and provided a lot of ongoing support and training. Staff, in turn, were very positive about the provider and proud of the achievements of the people they supported."

On the announcement of Domiciliary Care East Devon's outstanding rating, David Wilson, Chief Executive of Robert Owen Communities (ROC) said: "ROC is delighted to have earned the recognition of an Outstanding rating from the new CQC inspection. We are extremely proud to be the first organisation that supports people with learning disabilities to receive this top level rating. This is a full acknowledgment of ROC’s aim to fully embed personalisation and demonstrate what services should be like now and in the future."

Last updated:
19 January 2015