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The Woodmill, Cullompton

The Woodmill in Cullompton, Devon, was rated outstanding for being responsive and well-led following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), on 17 & 19 December 2019.

The safe, caring and effective categories received a score of Good.

The Woodmill provides specialist neurobehavioral assessment and rehabilitation services for people with disabilities resulting from acquired brain injury.

Some people at The Woodmill were being assessed as part of a planned rehabilitation programme, while others were at the service for a period with the intention of moving into community housing with support.

The service also offers longer term residential care for people with complex needs who are unable to live in a community-based setting.

The Woodmill forms part of the nationwide network of rehabilitation support services provided by The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT).

CQC inspectors highlighted that they heard many examples of how people's quality of life and levels of independence had significantly improved at the service. Staff understood the frustration people felt when coming to terms with their disability and limitations and worked with them to overcome some of the difficulties they faced.

For example, on admission, one person had a history of experiencing aggressive outbursts, which resulted in them requiring two to one support from staff. Due to the behaviour, the person was not able to progress with their rehabilitation. However, over time, the therapy team worked with the person to understand the behaviour and develop strategies for them to use to reduce the behaviour.

At the time of the inspection, the person's aggressive incidents had reduced significantly from 38 incidents per month to five aggressive incidences per month, and their staffing had been reduced to one to one. This meant the person was able to focus on their successful rehabilitation. As a result, they were engaging with activities, enjoying cooking and spending time in the local community.

The ethos of the service meant people, relatives, staff and professionals felt they were partners in developing personalised rehabilitation programmes and generally enhancing the service. A relative explained, "This place is transparent and open and a place I can trust. Here they recognised any weak links and address them immediately. It is an amazing service. Outstanding."

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