£500,000 allocated to 10 NHS Trusts in England to build new Changing Places facilities for disabled people
Revealed today by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), thousands of severely disabled people are set to benefit from new Government funding, which is expected to more than double the number of Changing Places toilets in NHS hospitals across England.
Changing Places are toilets with additional equipment for people who are not able to use the toilet independently, including adult-sized changing benches and hoists. The toilets enable people with disabilities, and their carers, to go out confidently or attend hospital appointments without the stress or fear that there are no appropriate toilets available.
Now 10 NHS Trusts across England have been given over £500,000 to help them start work on 16 new Changing Places toilets, with a further £1.5 million available to bid for.
Currently, there are just over 50 Changing Places facilities in NHS hospitals and the new funding is expected to eventually increase this number to over 100.
Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage is calling for more trusts to bid for the funding and also for all new hospital facilities to include a Changing Places facility in their plans.
This latest funding builds on the UK Government’s aims of improving accessibility. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) consulted last year on proposals that would add Changing Places toilets to more than 150 new buildings a year, including shopping centres, supermarkets, cinemas, stadiums and arts venues.
MHCLG intends to respond to the consultation in spring this year.
Caroline Dinenage said: “People with severe disabilities deserve to live with dignity and independence, but lack of access to adequate toilet facilities can be a huge challenge. Hospitals, like all public spaces, have a duty to cater for people with disabilities – who risk discomfort, embarrassment and even injury without access to a Changing Place.
“This funding will make a real difference to tens of thousands of people and their carers who use NHS hospitals and I am delighted that trusts can begin building work as soon as possible, with further funding still available.
“While today will help us to double the number of Changing Places in NHS trusts, we still have far to go – I expect every hospital development to include a Changing Places facility in their future plans.”
The list of NHS Trusts that are receiving funding are:
- Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – £105,000
- University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust – £51,000
- Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust – £34,000
- Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – £35,000
- Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – £40,000
- Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust – £35,000
- United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust – £97,000
- West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust – £60,000
- Lancashire Teaching Hospitals – £50,000
- Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – £17,000