Next time you go to the toilet away from home, imagine how you would cope if you needed a helper…..

For some 1/4million adults and children who do need help, they face having to be laid on the toilet floor, often with the door open for anyone passing to see them. New guidelines and legislation have put in place criteria to avoid this situation: installation of a Changing Places toilet. Bigger than a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet, the facility also includes additional equipment of, at least, a hoist and adult-sized changing bench.

Under both the latest Building Regulations Approved Document M and BS8300:2009, it is desirable to include a Changing Places facility in any building to which the public have access. And under the Equality Act, service providers are now required to make reasonable changes- including to the built environment- where a disabled customer or potential customer would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage.

“Having to lie on the toilet floor most people would view as a substantial disadvantage,” says Kelvin Grimes, Changing Places project manager at Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading provider of disabled toilet facilities. “We wouldn’t expect a mother to lay her baby on the floor to change it, so why should it be acceptable for a disabled person to undergo that experience?

“Our disabled population is growing- currently 10% of the UK population is registered disabled. Disabled people account for an annual spend in excess of £80billion. Disabled customers account, on average, for 20% of retail business. It is therefore ‘desirable’, to quote the legislation, that shopping centres, tourist attractions, leisure venues heed good practice, legal recommendations, and the commercial benefits of providing Changing Places toilets.”

Clos-o-Mat is the only British company with the ability to, in-house, provide design advice, supply, installation, project management, commissioning and ongoing service & maintenance of the equipment. To help all involved in the decision process, it has produced a white paper ‘Considerations & Specification of Changing Places Toilets’. The white paper, plus support data such as specifications, 2D and 3D CAD drawings, animations, FAQs, and an expert’s blog are all available on the company’s website

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