Robert Owen Communities – Domiciliary Care East Devon is one of the first adult social care services to be rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

Published: 7 January 2015 Page last updated: 12 May 2022

The Care Quality Commission has rated the quality of care provided by Robert Owen Communities – Domiciliary Care East Devon, based in Exeter, as Outstanding.

The agency is one of the first services to receive the top rating under the CQC’s new methodology for inspecting adult social care services.

The service is provided by Robert Owen Communities, a Devon and Cornwall based learning disability charity, the agency provides support with personal care for 30 people with learning disabilities, other sensory and physical disabilities, and mental health problems in the Honiton, Exmouth and Exeter areas of Devon.

At an inspection in July, inspectors found that people were receiving care which was safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led, from compassionate staff who delivered person centred care with dignity and respect.

People were encouraged and supported to challenge themselves, and to be active members of their local communities. They were also encouraged to keep fit by taking part in sporting activities.

Staff were trained to use a range of different ways of communicating with people to ensure their views were heard, and were encouraged to challenge practice and to innovate.

Leadership was strong. Managers led by example, and the agency had an open culture. Staff were proud to work for the agency and felt valued for their work, and many of those inspectors spoke to had worked there for a long time and had developed strong long-standing relationships with those they supported.

People who used the service told inspectors that care and support was easily available and that staff made them feel safe and secure. This included in emergencies – one person told inspectors that extra support had been provided after they had broken their arm which meant the individual did not need to stay in hospital longer than necessary.

CQC identified a clear commitment from both staff and management to continually improve the support they delivered. Full findings from the inspection have been published today

Adrian Hughes, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care in the South, said:

“We found that Robert Owen Communities – Domiciliary Care East Devon was providing an outstanding service to the people it supported, individuals were supported and encouraged to be part of their community and the team there should be extremely proud of the work they do.

“We were struck by the extent to which the agency places the people it supports at the heart of everything it does. While this should be standard practice across the sector, we don’t see it often enough – and this, amongst other good practice found, is why this agency has received the highest rating we can give.

“The support provided was designed to meet not just to meet people’s individual needs, but also to meet their aspirations and celebrate their achievements. We saw that people were active members of their local communities, and that they were supported to gain new skills and increase their independence.

“One person who had never used public transport before had been supported to do so independently, and another had been supported to attend a day centre on a regular basis. People were overwhelmingly positive about the care they were receiving. We would encourage other providers to look closely at our findings here – as there is much some could learn from what we found.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said:

“The quality of care which our inspectors found here was exceptional and I am very pleased that we can celebrate the achievements of this agency.

“An outstanding service is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment. I would like to thank and congratulate everyone involved.”


For media enquiries, call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07789 876508. For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

Find out more

Read reports from our checks on the standards at Domiciliary Care East Devon.

The support provided was designed to meet not just to meet people’s individual needs, but also to meet their aspirations and celebrate their achievements.

Adrian Hughes, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care in the South

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.