Changing Places Toilet Consultation Launches:
Adequate toilet spaces for severely disabled people could feature in all new public buildings or those undergoing major refurbishment, if a new Government consultation is successful.
All new shopping centres, supermarkets, sports, cinemas and arts venues would have to provide a Changing Places toilet.
These kind of toilets are much larger than a typical accessible toilet. They will have equipment such as hoists, privacy curtains, adult-sized changing benches and room for carers.
There are more than 1,300 Changing Places toilets in the UK, but many more are needed to support the needs of people with disabilities when out of the home.
Due to a lack of toilet accessibility, those who need a Changing Places toilet often limit what they drink, causing dehydration and urinary tract infections. They often spend the day in soiled clothing, or have to be changed on a toilet floor. This also puts carers in unsafe physical situations, as they manually lift people into and out of wheelchairs.
Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, Catherine Woodhead said: “People living with disabilities go to work, visit shops and enjoy days out with friends just like everyone else. But a lack of Changing Places toilets make these seemingly simple tasks a challenge. Too often, we hear stories of people not leaving their homes, having to be changed on dirty toilet floors or even having surgery because there are not enough facilities.
The government’s consultation on making Changing Places toilets mandatory in new, large public buildings is hugely encouraging. Along with our fantastic campaigners, we have long pushed for changes to legislation, and now we are one step closer to that being reality.”
The consultation will run for ten weeks: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changing-places-toilets
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