Closomat Changing Places toilet image

Accessible toileting specialist Closomat has highlighted the importance of Changing Places facilities for disabled people, following the Government’s proposals to increase the number of Changing Places toilets in the UK.

Around 6 million people in the UK are affected by continence issues, according to the latest figures from the NHS.

For many, conventional ‘away from home’ toilets are still not suitable; they need more space, and/or equipment – a Changing Places toilet.

Changing Places toilets are wheelchair-accessible units that are spacious and include a bench and hoist, which allow disabled people to use the toilet with dignity. It can help people with a wide range of disabilities, including people living with stroke, continence issues, cerebral palsy, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Alison Bann, a nurse specialising in continence and Sales Manager for Closomat, explained at the annual Loo of the Year Awards 2018: “Inability to access a suitable toilet has a huge impact on a person’s physical and mental health.

“At very least, someone who has a continence issue will need to clean themselves. In severe cases, where they need pads or nappies, that will need to be changed. How do you do any of those in a conventional toilet? You need at least more space. You potentially need a suitable surface on which to lie (or be laid) whilst changing a pad or nappy.

“If you cant find that, you face the embarrassment of being dirty until you can find somewhere suitable. That impacts on you, the people with you and around you, physically and mentally.

“Yet it can be avoided so easily, just by changing how we specify and design toilets away from home.”

Under current Building Regulations and British Standards, a Changing Places facility should be provided in any facilities to which numbers of the public have access and/or spend a length of time. It should be in addition to any wheelchair-accessible toilets, and, as a minimum, be 12m2, with a ceiling track hoist, peninsular toilet and adult-sized height adjustable changing bed.

The Toilets Provision & Accessibility Bill currently going through Parliament will, if enacted, upgrade that to a compulsory requirement.

Closomat is a provider of accessible toileting solutions, at home and away, including Changing Places and Space to Change toilets.

The company can provide an in-house, ‘one- stop-shop’ complete CDM compliant package for ‘away from home’ assisted accessible toilet facilities, from design and commissioning, through to project management, supply and installation. It can also provide subsequent service, maintenance and repair.

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