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    Changing couch options for Changing Places toilets

    28th September 2018

    The importance of Changing Places toilets

    Changing couches for Changing Places are of vital importance. Without Changing Places toilets, and without a changing table in place, the only space available for families or carers to dress or change the person with disabilities would be the toilet floor which is not only dangerous, unhygienic and undignified for any disabled child or adult, but also forces the person doing the caring to put their own health and safety at risk.

    Changing Couches for Changing Places – The Options

    When working with a customer on Changing Places schemes, we are often asked the question “What are the changing couch options for Changing Places?” The answer is quite a lot! The final specification of the couch will depend on a number of factors, including:

    • Budget
    • Space
    • Services available
    • Anticipated users

    What does the Changing Places campaign say about changing couches?

    “A changing bench provides a comfortable, stable platform to get changed on for people who use incontinence pads or who need help undressing to use the toilet. They can also be used for showering.

    Height adjustable models enable the bench level to be lowered to a suitable height for self-transfer from a wheelchair or assisted transfer using a hoist, and then raised to a working height for one or more assistants”. 

    (Source: https://www.changing-places.org/install_a_toilet/equipment/changing_benches.aspx)

    When choosing a changing or showering bench for Changing Places, British Standards – BS8300 requires that the bench is height adjustable, at least 1800mm long and capable of lifting 125kg (19.6 stone).

    All height adjustable changing benches can adjusted to an appropriate safe working height for carers., meaning that carers can work at an appropriate height reducing the strain on their backs.

    Height adjustable changing benches come in a variety of types, sizes and shapes. They should always be chosen with good advice to meet your specific needs

    Changing Couches for Changing Places – The options

    When choosing the changing couch, the main consideration is whether a free standing (sometimes called a mobile couch) or a wall mounted version is required. Both types are available as electrically height adjustable, the free standing or mobile changing couches are also available as hydraulically height adjustable versions. Fixed height changing bench are also available, however they are not recommended by the Changing Places Consortium)

    Why choose a wall mounted changing couch?

    Wall mounted changing couches are stable, secure and cannot be removed. Benefits of the wall mounted version include: 

    • Can be folded against wall to make best use of small space
    • Go down very low to assist with wheelchair self transfers
    • Provides strong side safety rail
    • Does not involve manual effort to adjust height
    • Smooth action during height adjustment
    • Easy to readjust height during use
    • When positioned against a wall, they  offer added safety to prevent users rolling away from carer
    • Available in different lengths
    • In public areas they cannot be removed or stolen

    Drawbacks of wall mounted changing couches include

    • Carers can only stand on one side
    • Requires power (electricity) to operate
    • Require a solid brick or block wall, or strengthening for stud walls which may mean builders work

    Free standing height adjustable changing benches are easy to move around the room enabling carers to access the user from both sides, and giving the following benefits


    • Carers can stand on either or both sides
    • On castors – can be moved to suit needs
    • Hydraulic versions have less safety critical components
    • Does not require power to operate
    • May provide side safety rails


    • It can be removed, potentially leaving no changing facilities
    • Can take up more space than wall mounted versions
    • Manual height adjustment requires effort, usually foot pump action
    • Hydraulic versions users may sometimes experience jerky movement while raising
    • Electric battery powered versions – battery can go missing in public buildings
    • On an uneven or sloping floor (for example in shower area) may be less stable than the wall mounted version

    Our Range

    We have a range of both wall mounted and free standing changing couches.

    Mobile couches / shower trolleys 


    Wall Mounted couches


    Our Experience with Changing Places

    We have extensive experience in installing Changing Places and can offer professional support and advice on any project. We are also proud to have completed multiple Changing Places including one at the iconic Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre in London. We offer complete turn-key solutions including the installation and equipment that meets all the regulatory requirements.

    Click on the links to see our Blogs on latest installations:   Gloucester University  / Southbank Centre / Changing Places in pre-fabricated buildings.

    Contact us

    Contact us to discuss all your Changing Places needs – from planning to installation to training to servicing, we can help you every step of the way.

    Call us today on 0800 298 6000 or email sales@multicaremedical.co.uk

    © 2020 Multicare Medical Ltd - Registered in England and Wales No. 08565494. Registered Office: Brookside House, Burnsall Road, Canley, Coventry CV5 6BU.