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Changing places for invisible disability

Have you ever needed to ‘go’ when away from home, and not been able to easily find a toilet? Add to that feeling the fact that you need more space, or special equipment, or that you’ve had an accident because of continence problems.


Building designers and operators are being urged to “hold that thought” when creating interior spaces.

Up to 6million people in the UK are affected by continence issues, according to latest figures from the NHS.

For many, conventional ‘away from home’ toilets are still not suitable: they need more space, and/or equipment- a Changing Places toilet.

“Inability to access a suitable toilet has a huge impact on a person’s physical and mental health,” explains Alison Bann, a nurse specialising in continence who is now sales manager for Closomat, the UK’s leading provider of Changing Places toilets, speaking at the annual Loo of the Year Awards.

“At very least, someone who has a continence issue will need to clean themselves. In severe cases, where they need pads or nappies, that will need to be changed. How do you do any of those in a conventional toilet? You need at least more space. You potentially need a suitable surface on which to lie (or be laid) whilst changing a pad or nappy. If you cant find that, you face the embarrassment of being dirty until you can find somewhere suitable. That impacts on you, the people with you and around you, physically and mentally. Yet it can be avoided so easily, just by changing how we specify and design toilets away from home.”

Under current Building Regulations and British Standards, a Changing Places should be provided in any facilities to which numbers of the public have access, and/or spend a length of time. It should be in addition to any wheelchair-accessible toilets, and, as a minimum, be 12m², with a ceiling track hoist, peninsular toilet and adult-sized height adjustable changing bed. The Toilets- Provision & Accessibility Bill currently going through Parliament will, if enacted, upgrade that to a compulsory requirement.

Closomat is Britain’s leading provider of helpful toileting solutions, at home and away, including Changing Places and Space to Change toilets. Uniquely, the company can provide an in-house, ‘one- stop-shop’ complete CDM compliant package for ‘away from home’ assisted accessible toilet facilities, from design and commissioning, through to project management, supply and installation. Uniquely, it can also provide subsequent service, maintenance and repair.

Its website www.clos-o-mat.com is the ‘go to’ resource available for campaigners, providers and specifiers alike, with a raft of support information including white papers, calling cards, CAD blocks, NBS specifications, video and case studies.

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