Last edited 24 Dec 2018

Changing places toilets

Changing places.png

On 24 December 2018 the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government announced proposals to make Changing Places for severely disabled people mandatory in new large public buildings.

Changing Places toilets are larger than standard disabled toilets and have extra equipment like adult-sized changing benches, hoists, peninsular WCs (further removed from the wall and with space at the sides) and showers. People with disabilities and their carers say Changing Places in public can be life changing and allow them to go out in the public without fear or stress.

Currently, the building regulations only recommend Changing Places toilets are provided, and there are only 30 to 40 Changing Places on the entire NHS England estate. But Care Minister Caroline Dinenage confirmed that more that 100 NHS hospitals will build Changing Places facilities backed by a £2 million fund and that new shopping centres, stadiums and theme parks are among buildings that could be required to provide Changing Places toilets.

Ministers will launch a consultation in 2019 on proposals that facilities are included in all new large publicly-accessible buildings and other significant redevelopments in England.

The government has also provided £70,000 for an online map of the UK that helps carers and disabled people find Changing Places toilets.

Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak MP said; “Changing Places toilets make a huge difference to the lives of severely disabled people. I want to see these facilities included as standard in new large buildings like shopping centres and cinemas, so more disabled people can be assured peace of mind and dignity when they are away from home. The government will consult in the New Year on how best to do this, including changing building regulations if required, if it means more disabled people can get access the essential services they deserve.”

Caroline Dinenage said; “It is utterly shocking how few Changing Places toilets there are currently in NHS hospitals and other public spaces. People with disabilities and their carers rightly expect to find suitable facilities in a hospital of all places. A quarter of a million disabled people need Changing Places and this investment will mean many more of them can access a toilet safely and comfortably.”

Catherine Woodhead, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, which co-chairs the Changing Places Consortium, said; “We, along with our wonderful campaigners, have long pushed for changes to legislation to make Changing Places toilets mandatory in new large public buildings and it’s fantastic that we are now one step closer to that reality.”

The cost of installing a changing places facility in a hospital is usually between £27,000 and £35,000. The £2 million will be allocated on the principles of matched funding, with Trusts contributing to the cost.

Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ministers-act-to-increase-changing-places-toilets-for-severely-disabled-people

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