First bank in the UK installs a registered Changing Places toilet
Following investment into its accessible facilities, Lloyds Banking Group is the first bank in the UK to open a Changing Places toilet in Old Broad Street, London.
It means that disabled people in the area can more easily plan trips out, without the worry that there is not an accessible toilet nearby that meets their needs. This makes planning days out easier and helps reduce social anxiety.
Changing Places facilities incorporate a variety of assistive technologies for disabled people. These include changing benches, grab rails, and overhead hoists for greater accessibility.
Over 250,000 people in the UK require access to a Changing Places toilet, as standard accessible toilets are unable to meet their care needs. Changing Places provide a hygienic, safe and comfortable facility for disabled people and carers. Larger than a standard disabled facility, they offer space to manoeuvre a wheelchair, with up to two carers present.
Innova Care Concepts supplied and installed the new facility, including specialist healthcare equipment such as a height-adjustable changing bench and wash basin, ceiling track with hoist, as well as a privacy screen and shower facilities.
Ross Hovey, Accessibility Manager for Lloyds Banking Group, commented: “Standard accessible toilets meet the needs for some people – but there are those of us where specialist washrooms with extra space are crucial. I regularly visit our Old Broad Street office in London and having the new Changing Places facility at work is a welcome step towards full inclusivity.
“I have spinal muscular atrophy and use an electric wheelchair, my care team provides the support I need, 24/7. This new facility further enables me and my carers to have access to facilities that help my needs when I am at work.
“The benefits aren’t just related to my working day. Many of us like to have a quick drink with work pals now and again and, for most, where to go to the loo isn’t a factor when deciding whether to have that post work pint.
“Having an adapted washroom gives me the freedom to make last minute decisions to socialise with my work friends, as I’m less anxious about getting back to my adapted home.”
Lloyds Banking Group’s Old Broad Street facility is open to the general public and opening hours can be found on the Changing Places website.
The Changing Place is the first of a planned series of investments in Lloyds Banking Group buildings to make these more inclusive for both their customers and colleagues. The next facility, on Canons Way in Bristol’s Harbourside, is due to open later this year.
Karen Hoe OBE, Changing Places Manager at Muscular Dystrophy UK, concluded: “As co-chair of the Changing Places Toilet Consortium, Muscular Dystrophy UK is delighted that Lloyds Banking Group has become the first bank nationally to install a Changing Places Toilet in a public building.
“We applaud Lloyds Banking Group commitment to supporting accessibility for both their staff and members of the public in the heart of London’s financial centre, making this important area more accessible for workers who depend on these facilities.
“At the Changing Places Consortium, we have been campaigning for more of these vital facilities nationwide to meet the needs of more than 250,000 people in the UK who are entirely dependent on them for their basic toileting needs once they leave the home.
“Changing Places facility costs upwards of just £20,000, and the impact for the community is invaluable.”
Innova Care Concepts recently installed a Changing Places facility at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade supporting those who have complex care needs as well as their carers.