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Toilets For Severely Disabled People Made Compulsory In Every New Building In England

Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
edited October 2020 in News and opportunities

Toilets For Severely Disabled People Made Compulsory In Every New Building In England – Huffington Post

New buildings in England will be required to include toilets which have been specially adapted to meet the needs of severely disabled people, ministers have confirmed. 

According to the Changing Places campaign, at least 250,000 people in the UK are unable to use standard accessible toilets because they do not have changing benches or hoists and are often too small to accommodate carers. 

Campaigners say this means some disabled people feel restricted about leaving their homes – or that they often have to lie down on a dirty bathroom floor.

After many years of campaigning this will be very welcomed by a lot of people.

Do you need to use a Changing Places toilet? Do you think there should be more of them? 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

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  • katho31katho31 Posts: 694 Member
    Very long overdue but so pleased with this becoming law  :) myself and lots more have been lobbying with local councillors and I'm happy its finally here  :)
  • PhilipAndersonPhilipAnderson Member Posts: 17 Connected
    This is long overdue, and will make life easier for me when I venture out ... assuming that I will eventually escape the need to shelter in lock down! It's about time every hospital is obliged to have a changing places hospital. I hope that will be legislated before long
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,366 Disability Gamechanger
    Good news and about time too.
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Member Posts: 7,445 Disability Gamechanger
    I've always doubted myself about using a Changing Places - I can use a disabled toilet providing they have enough room for me to transfer safely with my frame or with the support of one person. But yes, this is very long overdue and it will be life-changing for many disabled people :) 
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • PhilipAndersonPhilipAnderson Member Posts: 17 Connected
    Ami, I need a hoist to get on a toilet. Every time I go out I am worried I will need to go to the toilet, and have to be sure I will have access to a Changing Places toilet if I expect I will need to go. If I can't be sure, I stay at home. It is very restricting, isolating, and morale mincing!
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,980 Disability Gamechanger
    Afraid I don’t share the optimism here. The key here is the phrase “every new building”. How many “new” buildings are there on your high street for example? Not adapted or given a new purpose but actually brand new? This only applies to actual new builds. If anything the cost of a changing places toilet is going to be quite a drain on the costs of a new build so I wouldn’t go building your hopes up. The likely outcome of that is that there will be considerably less space and money for accessible toilets and so people may inadvertently end up considerably worse off. 

    I know at least one lower league football club that was building a new stand in 3 sections. The plans are now being withdrawn because each section would need its own changing places toilet. The cost was prohibitive. So, new plans are coming for a lower capacity stand in one section. 

    Changing places toilets are fantastic but the reality is that the law needed to be changed around accessible toilets first of all. 
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    Have to agree @mikehughescq, with only new buildings being included I suspect that standards will change and most likely fewer toilets of any type will be included. Bsiness isn't going to agree to lots of additional costs without trying to grab it back some other way.

    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    This is a welcome change and disabled toilets are a problem. In my workplace there is only one disabled toilet which is abused by non disabled staff on a daily basis. The floor is left in a wet state, the cubicle is left in a disgusting state leaving it in a dangerous condition for the disabled staff who need to use it. Some staff have a wash in the cubicle, do not flush the toilet and think it is okay to make the disabled cubicle the place to go to to leave a mess when they can use the many other toilets in the building. The abuse of disabled toilets in public places including non disabled people using them because they don’t want to queue is very common. Unfortunately some people think it’s okay to flood the floor with water and leave a mess without flushing the toilet. If you’re lucky that a disabled cubicle has a Radar lock then you might find a clean and safe toilet but many places including shopping centres won’t install them leaving the cubicles open to abuse. Having access to a clean, dry and safe disabled cubicle makes a huge difference to disabled people, however, too many think it is okay to use the cubicles as a wash room when it is not set up for that use meaning the disabled people that need to use it are at a serious risk of falling.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,980 Disability Gamechanger
    @RAwarrior but changing places toilets are about as far away from a cubicle as you can get. You could probably get 2 to 4 accessible toilets into the space a CP toilet takes. This idea is basically pandering to marketing. It looks like a high profile win but it’s nothing of the sort. As long as you put a CP toilet in your new building you can have the same ridiculously low number if accessible toilets as now but most likely less as the CP facility counts toward the number.
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hi @mikehughescq
    Thank you for your comments and explanation as I wasn’t aware of the details you kindly provided. Maybe I should have posted my comments under another topic so my mistake😀 I do however, think that there are real problems in disabled people accessing safe and clean disabled cubicles for the reasons I have mentioned.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,980 Disability Gamechanger
    I absolutely agree. I’ve a radar key but have numerous issues of the kind you describe both at work and when out, which admittedly hasn’t been for some time.
  • RAwarriorRAwarrior Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hi @mikehughescq,
    Unfortunately many people in work and outside of work don’t understand how distressing it can be for a disabled person to be able to access a safe and clean cubicle which has not been covered in water or left in an unclean state. I have almost fallen on many occasions. However, at another workplace a disabled wheelchair user skidded across the floor when they entered the disabled cubicle because someone who was not disabled had been using the disabled cubicle as a shower room on a regular basis! I just wish some people wouldn’t use the disabled cubicle when they can use the other cubicles which nearly always outnumber the disabled cubicles. For some strange reason many people think it is okay to misuse disabled cubicles. I have reported unsafe disabled cubicles in a well known shopping centre and asked them to install Radar locks but they have refused so I don’t shop there anymore because the disabled cubicles are always flooded with water because of people using it as a washroom and I am not referring to disabled people. Another problem is when shopping centres or other places have the baby changing and disabled cubicles as one cubicle reducing access for disabled people. The problem can be that disabled people are not regarded as valuable customers so if I cannot access a safe disabled cubicle I vote with my feet. 
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