The Government has allocated £2m to NHS Trusts specifically to provide Changing Places assisted accessible toilets.
Following the news, Closomat has launched a package to help NHS Trusts deliver on a successful grant application.
Under the offering it will, in-house, provide a complete, ‘wrap around’ service- design advice, supply, installation- including to optimum ‘best practice’ guidelines, commissioning, and subsequent service & maintenance.
Uniquely, Closomat is the only major Changing Places provider that is fully Construction (Design & Management) compliant, and that has the capability to offer such breadth and depth of expertise and support from one source.
Closomat’s Claire Haymes explained: “The whole point of a Changing Places toilet is to enable someone who needs help to go to the toilet to do so with the appropriate space and equipment. We project manage such installations day in, day out.
“We understand all the considerations, not just in terms of Building Regulations, but useability: knowledge we share with clients to ensure their Changing Places delivers in every way. Inability to use the facility is almost worse than non-provision.”
Adding: “Disabled people represent 33% of NHS users. Whilst many can use a conventional wheelchair accessible toilet, a large proportion cannot- they need extra space and/or equipment. The alternative is stark: they have to stay sat in a soiled pad or nappy, be changed on the floor, hold the movement, or go home.
“Yet to date only about 20% of the UK’s 1250 or so hospitals have a Changing Places. Only £0.5m of the £2m available has been allocated. Our experience shows the average cost of the equipment fora Changing Places, to best practice and supplied and installed, costs around £15,000. So there is scope for scores more NHS Trusts to improve the accessibility of their hospitals.”