Over a quarter of a million people need Changing Places toilets to enable them to get out and about and enjoy the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted.1 For people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy,1 their needs are not always met by standard accessible toilets.
What is a Changing Places toilet?
There are currently 1,326 Changing Places toilets registered in the UK.2
Changing Places toilets provide the additional space and specialist equipment needed to allow people with complex care needs to use the toilet in a safe and comfortable environment. They are 12m2 in size, which allows enough space for the disabled person and up to two caregivers and specialist equipment to allow for personal care. The equipment you will find in a Changing Places toilet includes:
- ceiling track hoist
- height-adjustable adult size change bench
- a centrally placed toilet
- a privacy screen
Why are they important?
The reality is that without sufficient numbers of facilities, many disabled people, their families and carers face the challenge of:3
- limiting fluid intake to avoid trips to the toilet – risking dehydration and potential urinary tract infection
- sitting in soiled clothing
- having to change a loved one on a dirty floor
- manually lifting of a wheelchair – risk of injury
- restricting social life by reduced time away from home
Where are Changing Places toilets needed?
British Standards (BS8300:2018 Design of building and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people) recommends that Changing Places toilets should be provided in larger buildings and complexes, which include:4
- major transport terminals
- motorway services
- sport and leisure facilities including large hotels
- cultural centres e.g. museums and art galleries
- stadia and large auditoria
- shopping centres
- key buildings in town centres e.g. town halls and main public libraries
- educational establishments
- health facilities e.g. hospitals and health centres
On 11 May 2019 the government launched a consultation seeking views on how to increase provision of Changing Places toilet facilities in specific new, large buildings commonly used by the public, as well as those undergoing building works. Their proposed approach is to introduce a mandatory requirement for Changing Places toilets in Building Regulations.5
1. http://www.changing-places.org/ [Accessed July 2019]
2. http://changingplaces.uktoiletmap.org/ [Accessed July 2019]
3. https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/changing-places-toilets/65054/ [Accessed July 2019]
4.http://www.changingplaces.org/install_a_toilet/policy_and_legal/british_standard_83002009.aspx [Accessed July 2019]
5. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changing-places-toilets [Accessed July 2019]