An Hft service in Oxfordshire where people are “truly respected and valued as individuals” has been awarded an overall rating of ‘Good’ and given an ‘Outstanding’ in one of five key areas by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

CQC inspects adult social care services to determine whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. Oxon Vale Domiciliary Care Agency (DCA), which is run by Hft, was rated as ‘Outstanding’ for being “exceptionally caring” and ‘Good’ in the four other categories.

The service in Abingdon, which supports 43 people to live independently in their own home, was inspected in February, when CQC observed interactions between staff and people using the service, as well as meeting with staff and supported people and examining support plans and medicine and training records.

The subsequent published report highlighted ways the service has promoted people’s privacy, dignity and independence. One example included staff supporting a person’s choice to live alone, resulting in a change in lifestyle that helped their relationships with their relatives and staff and “significantly improved their life”.

The report also found that “people’s needs were met through good organisation and delivery” and cited examples of the service supporting people to have “positive and meaningful everyday lives” by providing access to employment and social, sports and leisure activities. One includes a person who loved horses and was supported to go on a horse riding holiday.

In the report it was also observed that staff often “went the extra mile”. This included a staff member supporting a person through a difficult period when their relative was taken ill, helping them overcome a fear of hospitals and assisting them to visit.

Feedback was gathered from people and their family members, who said that staff were “overwhelmingly kind, caring and professional.” One person described how staff communicated with their daughter, and that “though [person using the service] can only give very limited feedback, staff understand her very much via her eyes and sounds.” Relatives were also said to “speak highly” of the registered managers at the service, who were found to promote “continuous learning” through training on a wide range of subjects relevant to individuals using the service.

Emma Pithers, Regional Manager for Oxfordshire, said:

“We have a dedicated staff team, who frequently go above and beyond to help the people we support to live with more independence, choice, and control and to help them achieve their potential.  We are delighted that our efforts have been recognised and that the inspection rating reflects our ongoing commitment to supporting adults with learning disabilities to live the best life possible.”

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About Hft

Hft is a UK charity supporting more than 2,900 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Established in 1962, the charity uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, person-centred support across all its services.

Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.

For more information about Hft, please visit

Information about learning disabilities

A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to:

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learn new skills
  • Live independently

For more information about learning disabilities, please visit