Portaloo launches new guide to specifying accessible washrooms


Portaloo, part of the Portakabin Group, has launched a new guide to help facilities and estates managers specify toilets and washrooms for people with disabilities, including those who are unable to use standard accessible toilets.

Regulations are in place requiring building owners and service providers to make reasonable adjustments to their premises to cater for people with a wide range of disabilities. Buildings have to be accessible and toilet and washing facilities should be adapted for a range of users.

“The lack of fully accessible toilets simply denies people with severe disabilities the right to freedom, mobility and community participation”, says Mark Fielding, Regional Manager at Portaloo. “Hundreds of thousands of people need these extra facilities in public places to help them enjoy the day-to-day activities that many of us just take for granted.”

“Our team has a wealth of expertise in the provision of accessible and fully accessible toilet and washroom facilities. This new guide shares that knowledge and experience to help raise awareness of the key specification considerations and encourage more organisations to provide accessibility in the built environment – from public services and transport to leisure and sport.”

The guide can be downloaded from the Portakabin website and offers practical advice about:

  • The different types of accessible toilet – for users of standard-sized wheelchairs and fully accessible toilets designed for people with severe disabilities and their carers
  • What legal obligations must be met when providing toilets for disabled people – the guide considers the recommendations of the Changing Places Consortium and the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, Disability Discrimination legislation and Building Regulations Part M
  • Who needs to provide accessible toilets and washrooms
  • Key factors to consider when installing or altering toilet and washroom facilities for disabled people including size, design and layout; toilet, washbasin and floor specifications; the need for an adult-sized changing table, ceiling hoist, privacy screen and assistance alarm, and access considerations
  • Implications when converting existing premises and for installing a new accessible toilet building
  • Criteria for selecting a supplier of accessible toilet facilities, such as quality assurance, extent of service provision, product quality, site surveys, customer service commitments and how to compare quotations.

To meet the growing demand for fully accessible toilet and changing facilities, Portaloo has recently launched Portaloo Accessible Plus – the UK’s first self-contained, semi-permanent toilet and shower building for wheelchair users and their carers which is available for short or longer-term hire. This building has been specifically designed to provide more comfort, dignity and privacy than any other interim facility currently available.

To download a copy of the new guide, see www.portaloo.co.uk/accessible-guide.

For further information about the new Portaloo range of fully accessible toilet and changing facilities for short-term use, visit www.portaloo.co.uk/accessible-plus, email information@portakabin.co.uk or call 0845 401 0010.


Changing Places with Pressalit Care nursing benches

When designing bathrooms to be accessible to all, such as in Changing Places facilities, school hygiene rooms or care homes, Pressalit Care’s range of nursing benches goes above and beyond the standards required to provide the flexibility required in such installations.

With over 35 years of designing accessible products for the healthcare industry, Pressalit Care brings not just practical experience to its range of nursing benches, but an eye for what looks good too.

With ease of use paramount for both user and carer, Pressalit Care’s nursing benches include both height adjustable and fixed height options, designed to provide a stable platform for changing adults or children. They are suited to applications in schools, day centres, care homes, and home adaptations, as well as for specification in all Changing Places facilities.

The award winning Nursing Bench 3000 model (pictured) provides for maximum safety and comfort. With an adjustable head and neck support, which can be moved to either end of the nursing bench, the slightly curved contour makes this bench extremely comfortable and safe.  It features a water collection tray with integrated water outlet, and a safety rail which can be folded easily up or down.    While not in use, and where space saving is a consideration, the Nursing Bench 3000 can be neatly folded up against the wall.

As with all Pressalit Care’s nursing benches, ease of use is paramount for both user and carer. The adjustable Nursing Bench 3000 model has a low starting height of 300mm, enabling easy transfer onto the bench from either a standing or seated position. The electrically operated hand control raises the bench up to a maximum of 1000mm above the floor. Up and down buttons are clearly marked on the control, which comes with a convenient wall mount.

Andrew Lowndes, UK sales manager for Pressalit Care says, “The flexibility of the height adjustable nursing bench gives advantages to both the user and the carer, as the correct working height is equally important for the carer’s safety and the user’s comfort.”

The Nursing Bench 3000 is part of a full range of high quality, fixed height or power adjusted changing benches and tables from Pressalit Care. All the models have been carefully designed to provide a stable platform suitable for changing and showering both adults and children in a variety of settings.

Other products in the range include the Nursing Bench 1000, which features a pvc coated canvas stretcher, and is available in both height adjustable and fixed height versions; the 2000 model which also features an easy-clean, perforated stretcher, with a low starting height of 300mm; and for use in pre-school and nurseries, the Pressalit Care Nursing Table.

For more than 35 years, the guiding principle for Pressalit Care’s development of flexible kitchen and bathroom solutions for people with disabilities, has been keep living – in other words, reduced functionality need not limit a person’s development. Thanks to its research-based knowledge, Pressalit Care is a market leader within specialist kitchen and bathroom solutions, and provides consultancy to customers worldwide.  www.pressalit.com Tel: 0844 8806950 Email: uk@pressalit.com


Protect investment in ‘spending a penny’…

2018-clos-o-mat-installationProviders of toilet facilities open to the public can save £000s per annum yet simultaneously deliver better service through an innovative scheme by Clos-o-Mat. And one scheme user maintains it would be ‘foolish’ not to take advantage of the service!

The scheme is Clos-o-Mat’s service and maintenance package for ‘out of home’ accessible toilets, including Changing Places toilets and hygiene rooms, which it has supplied.

Under the plan, the company’s team of in-house, specially trained engineers undertake annual maintenance of ALL the key equipment provided by Clos-o-Mat in the toilets. This includes complex technical fittings such as height adjustable changing benches, Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita automatic shower (wash and dry) toilets and hoists.

Further, should there be a problem with any of the equipment, Clos-o-Mat’s engineers will be on site as quickly as possible and undertake whatever steps necessary to remedy the issue and ensure the toilet facility is fully functioning.

Wakefield College is just one customer that has taken advantage of the package, for its two accessible toilet facilities supplied and installed by Clos-o-Mat. Elaborates Diane Henry, Estates Manager, “Due to the installation costs and technical nature of the equipment I believe it would be foolish not to invest in servicing. Servicing helps to ensure optimum performance, minimise operational downtime which would have a negative impact on the potential users of the facility, and helps prolong the equipment’s life.”

Adds Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager, ‘When providers have made a significant investment in the provision of an accessible toilet, it is logical to ensure it is operational as much as possible, not only to potentially maximise return on investment but also to optimise that intangible ‘customer service’, especially when to do so adds little pro rata to the annual running costs.

“We have all know the frustration of needing to go to the toilet when away from home and find the nearest one is out of use. That frustration is significantly increased when you are- or care for someone who is- disabled, and need special facilities.”

Details of the service & maintenance package are available on Clos-o-Mat’s website www.clos-o-mat.com, or via email (info@clos-o-mat.com) or telephone (0161 969 1199).

Founded 50 years ago, Clos-o-Mat is the only company in the UK that can not only supply the full ambit of disabled toilet solutions, but install, project manage, commission and maintain the equipment.


Fulfill moral obligation, boost profts and get a tax break!


Adapting leisure environments to accommodate disabled people delivers a win: win opportunity, says Clos-o-Mat.

The UK’s leading supplier of disabled toileting solutions maintains shops, cafes and tourist attractions could see an increase in traffic simply by a nominal investment n more accessible toilet facilities- an investment which can be offset against tax liability.

Research shows people make a conscious decision NOT to visit somewhere if they believe there are not appropriate toilet facilities. It also highlights that many accessible toilets do not even reach the Building Regulations* standard. Yet the country’s 11m disabled people account for 20% of the average business’ customer base. A survey of disabled consumers’ buying patterns revealed that over 80% had taken their custom elsewhere to a more accessible competitor, and that the majority of disabled people primarily buy in-store and choose businesses where they have received good service.

“Disabled people already represent a significant part of the £80b retail market,” says Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager. “Forward-thinking businesses should make adaptations to accommodate them, and they’ll achieve a win: win situation.

“To elaborate, under the Community Toilet Scheme, businesses which make their toilets available for use by the public can get a rate reduction. If people are therefore encouraged to visit the premises, the chances are they will spend there. The cost of sanitaryware installed to comply with DDA/Equality Act requirements to make ‘reasonable’ adjustments to accommodate disabled people, and the fitting cost, qualifies for a PMA+ under HMRC guidelines. Building Regulations also say that if there is only space for one toilet, it should be a unisex, accessible one.”

IKEA and Cadbury World are just two organisations that have taken Clos-o-Mat’s philosophy on board, and installed toilets to deliver optimum inclusivity, comprising an adult-sized changing bench, hoist and Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita automatic (wash and dry) toilet.

Looking like, and capable of being used as, a conventional WC, the Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita has in-built washing and drying facilities, eliminating the need to use toilet paper. As a result a disabled person needs little, or no, help to toilet. If space is limited, simply replacing a traditional WC in a standard accessible toilet with a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita instantly increases the potential number of users. Where more space is available, addition of a Changing Places toilet/ hygiene room further increases visitor range, with their additional equipment of a changing bench and hoist.

Elizabeth Stanton of IKEA Edinburgh, explained, “At the IKEA Group, we believe that taking responsibility for people is a prerequisite for doing good business. The decision to install a Clos-o-Mat in our ‘Changing Places’ toilet was entirely our own, in our desire to create something to benefit our co-workers as well as our customers. As a result, we have an accessible toilet that is truly as inclusive as possible, and, we believe, the only one to be so extensively equipped in a superstore in the UK.”

Tim Gimbert, Cadbury World operations manager added, “Our toilets were originally installed when Cadbury World first opened, which was before even Document M existed! We felt they were outdated and didn’t have the range of facilities to a standard that is required or expected today.

“We have often been asked in the past if we have a hoist in any of the toilets, so that led us to go beyond the legal requirement and install a Changing Places toilet, which is ‘good practice’ under BS8300. Further adding the Clos-o-Mat, which again goes beyond the requirement, means we are accommodating the FULL diversity of visitors.”

Clos-o-Mat has a proven track record on the supply and installation of fully accessible toilets, including a substantial number of Changing Places facilities. Its ability to deliver design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance across the ambit of accessible toileting equipment, including the Clos-o-Mat wash and dry (automatic) toilet, means it is uniquely positioned to simplify the whole process for forward-thinking environments to which the public have access.

www.clos-o-mat.com; e: info@clos-o-mat.com; Tel: 0161 969 1199

*Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013-04-30

+ PMA: Plant & Machinery Allowance


Changing Places at Bullring

1807-ON-clos-o-mat-bullringThe Midlands’ number one shopping destination, Bullring, has opened a new Changing Places toilet.

The accessible toilet opened as part of the centre’s on-going review of facilities to enable all customers to enjoy the shopping destination.

The new Changing Places room, located on the Middle East Mall, delivers more comprehensive toileting facilities than the existing nine accessible toilets.  With equipment supplied by the UK’s leading disabled toileting solutions provider, Clos-o-Mat, the Changing Places toilet has space to accommodate the user and up to two carers, a changing bench, hoist, washbasin and peninsular toilet.

Tim Walley, General Manager at Bullring, commented, “Bullring is one of the most visited shopping centres in the UK, welcoming over 38million customers a year. Therefore we aim to provide the very best services and facilities. The Changing Places facility enables all our visitors to enjoy Bullring at their ease.”

Added Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager, “People go to the toilet about eight times a day, and make a conscious decision to visit places where there are suitable toilets. A Changing Places toilet means thousands of people who need more space and/or special equipment can enjoy things most of us take for granted- like a trip to the shops. Their need is recognised: over 500 have now been installed across the UK, helping us become an accessible, inclusive society.”

Under the new (2013) Building Regulations, it is now ‘desirable’ to include a hygiene room/ Changing Places toilet in buildings to which the public have access ie a room that is minimum 12m2, and includes additional toilet equipment of an adult sized changing bench, hoist and privacy screen. It is intended to meet the toilet needs of the UK’s ¼+ million people need help to toilet.

Clos-o-Mat is the UK’s biggest manufacturer and supplier of disabled toileting solutions, and the most experienced in provision of hygiene rooms and Changing Places accessible toilets. Founded 50 years ago, the company was the first UK supplier of automatic (wash and dry) toilets. It has, in-house, the ability to deliver comprehensive design advice, supply, installation, commissioning, and after-sales service & maintenance, giving service providers a ‘one-stop shop’ for their accessible toilet requirements.

Clos-o-Mat manufactures the Clos-o-Mat wash and dry automatic toilet, the only unit of its type developed specifically for disabled people: since the WC’s concept was initially developed, Clos-o-Mat has sold over 40,000, many of which are still in daily use 30 years after first being fitted.

Clos-o-Mat Tel 0161 969 1199; www.clos-o-mat.com; Email: info@clos-o-mat.com