Call for compulsory ‘Changing Places’ washrooms from 2021

Katie Howard 2017

Katie Howard
Consultant, Assurity Consulting
22nd July 2020

Changing Places washrooms are provided in addition to accessible washrooms and are designed to be completely accessible to allow sufficient space and appropriate equipment for those who are unable to use the toilet independently.

These washrooms have additional equipment to the standard accessible washrooms. Additional facilities include; a hoist system, an adjustable adult-sized changing bench, a central toilet with space either side, grab rails, a privacy curtain, as well as space for carers.

The Government has pledged that more than 150 new Changing Places facilities will be installed a year to provide over 250,000 severely disabled people greater access to public spaces such as, shopping centres, supermarkets, cinemas, stadiums and arts venues. Currently, there are only 1,483 Changing Places available in the UK which is not enough to support those who require them.

This announcement has brought great hope to many individuals and families across the country, Rob Burley, Director of Campaigns, Care and Support at Muscular Dystrophy UK said, “This is huge news for the quarter of a million people in the UK who need Changing Places toilets. Having access to these much-needed facilities increases independence and improves quality of life. This legislation will make it easier for disabled people and their families to enjoy activities that many take for granted, whether that’s a day’s shopping or attending a concert.”

A fantastic pledge for those living with disabilities and their carers, and I look forward to having more Changing Places washrooms to assess in the future access audits I carryout for our customers.