Changing Places

Key Benefits:

  • A public facility available for all disabled people
  • Changing Places increase dignity and hygiene for the service user
  • There is reduced risk of back injury for carers

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A Changing Places toilet facility features additional space and equipment to meet the needs of those with complex or multiple disabilities and who require one or two assistants.

An estimated ¼ million people with disabilities cannot access standard disabled toilet facilities in the UK, including those with profound and multiple learning difficulties, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and spinal injury.

The result is that many of these people are forced into a highly unhygienic and degrading situation – to be laid on the floor of a public toilet to be changed (which also puts carers at risk of back injury). This severely limits the social activities that are accessible to people with disabilities and their families.

BS8300:2009 states that Changing Places facilities should be provided in buildings and complexes such:

a) Transport termini (large railway stations and airports)

b) Motorway Services

c) Sport and Leisure facilities including hotels

d) Cultural centres such as museums, concert halls and art galleries

e) Stadia and large Auditoria

f) Shopping centres and Shopmobility centres

g) Key buildings within town centres, e.g. Town halls, civic centres and main public libraries

h) Education establishments

i) Health facilities such as hospitals, health centres and community practices.

BS8300:2009 states that the following equipment must be provided:

1) A ceiling track hoist system, preferably and XY, or H, track system, to provide access to all areas of the facility. The hoist must have a safe working load of at least 200kg.

2) A mobile or fixed height adjustable changing bench with a safe working load of at least 125kg.

3) A peninsular toilet with drop-down grab rails and access for carers on either side.

4) A washbasin, preferably with electric height adjustment.

5) A retractable privacy screen (not ceiling mounted).

6) In addition, a shower is recommended but is not compulsory.

Other ancillary items including sanitary products and signage should also be provided.

For a Changing Places facility to comply with BS8300:2009, it must be 3m x 4m in size (or 12sqm) and have a minimum ceiling height of 2.4m.