Thousands of disabled people are set to benefit from new government funding, which is expected to more than double the number of Changing Places toilets in NHS hospitals across England.
Over £500,000 has been made available to 10 trusts across England today to start work on 16 new facilities, with a further £1.5 million available to bid for.
There are currently just over 50 of these facilities on the NHS England estate and with this first share of funding, it is expected that the total number of Changing Places in hospitals will eventually increase to over 100.
The Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage, is calling for more trusts to bid for the funding and also for all new hospital facilities to include a Changing Places facility in their plans.
The announcement forms part of cross-government work to improve accessibility. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) consulted last year on proposals that would add Changing Places toilets to more than 150 new buildings a year, including shopping centres, supermarkets, cinemas, stadiums and arts venues.
The proposals would add the facilities to specific new, large buildings commonly used by the public, as well as those undergoing building works.
Caroline Dinenage, the minister for care, said: “People with severe disabilities deserve to live with dignity and independence, but lack of access to adequate toilet facilities can be a huge challenge. Hospitals, like all public spaces, have a duty to cater for people with disabilities – who risk discomfort, embarrassment and even injury without access to a Changing Place.”
Adding: “This funding will make a real difference to tens of thousands of people and their carers who use NHS hospitals and I am delighted that trusts can begin building work as soon as possible, with further funding still available.
“While today will help us to double the number of Changing Places in NHS trusts, we still have far to go – I expect every hospital development to include a Changing Places facility in their future plans.”
The ten trusts are:
|Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust||£105,000|
|University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust||£51,000|
|Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust||£34,000|
|Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust||£35,000|
|Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust||£40,000|
|Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust||£35,000|
|United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust||£97,000|
|West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust||£60,000|
|Lancashire Teaching Hospitals||£50,000|
|Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust||£17,000|