Over a 1/4 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.
Standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability.
People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. These needs are met by
Changing Places toilets.
Each Changing Places toilet provides:
The right equipment
- a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench
- a tracking hoist system, or mobile hoist if this is not possible.
- adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers
- a centrally placed toilet with room either side
- a screen or curtain to allow some privacy.
A safe and clean environment
- wide tear off paper roll to cover the bench
- a large waste bin for disposable pads
- a non-slip floor.
Why are Changing Places toilets important?
Thousands of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well other disabilities that severely limit mobility, cannot use standard accessible toilets.
People may be limited in their own mobility so need equipment to help them or may need support from one or two carers to either get on the toilet or to have their continence pad changed. Standard accessible toilets (or "disabled toilets") do not provide changing benches or hoists and most are too small to accommodate more than one person. Without Changing Places toilets, the person with disabilities is put at risk, and families are forced to risk their own health and safety by changing their loved one on a toilet floor.
This is dangerous, unhygienic and undignified.
It is now accepted and expected that everyone has a right to live in the community, to move around within it and access all its facilities. Government policy promotes the idea of "community participation" and "active citizenship," but for some people with disabilities the lack of a fully accessible toilet is denying them this right.
Although the numbers are increasing, there are still not enough Changing Places toilets across the country.
Providing these toilets in public places would make a dramatic difference to the lives of thousands of people who desperately need these facilities.
Who are they for?
Research has found that over a quarter of a million severely disabled people, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, do not have access to public toilet facilities that meet their needs.
In the UK the number of people who would benefit from a Changing Places toilet would include approximately:
40,000 people with profound and multiple learning disabilities
130,000 older people
30,000 people with muscular dystrophy and neuromuscular conditions
30,000 people with cerebral palsy
13,000 people with an acquired brain injury
8,500 people with Multiple Sclerosis
8,000 people with Spina Bifida
500 people with Motor Neurone Disease
We also know that the number of people with complex disabilities is growing.
We are all living longer, meaning many more people are likely to need access to a Changing Places toilet in the future.
||We recommend that the dimensions of the room are a minimum of 12 square metres (3m x 4m), with a ceiling height of 2.4m.
Some facilities listed on this website as Changing Places will be smaller than 12 square metres. This reflects the standards of Changing Places toilets when the campaign was launched in 2006.
The Changing Places Consortium appreciates that meeting the 12 square metres (3m x 4m) size criteria of the British Standard may be difficult in, for example, a listed building that cannot be altered. We would recommend that you consult with us before you start planning any renovations or adaptations in buildings such as these.
Toilets may continue to be identified as Changing Places toilets where the minimum room dimensions are 7 square metres or above. We do recommend that providers and installers do their best to meet the 12 square metre British Standard current guidelines as smaller facilities may exclude many users who need the full space.