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    Successful Changing Places Installation – Your environment and design of the room

    12th November 2018

    Successful Changing Places installation

    Planning a successful Changing Places installation can seem daunting! In the first of our 5 section guide on a successful changing places installation we will look at accessibility issues and the design of the room. In the following weeks we will look at the type and location of equipment, sample layouts, managing the installation and finally ongoing maintenance and management of the completed room. Read on for more details


    British Standard 8300

    The British Standard 8300:2009: (Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people) provides guidance on good practice for the design of new buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people.

    The guidance in this standard covers a wide range of impairments and the use of buildings by disabled people. These could be residents, visitors, spectators, customers, employees, or participants in sports events, performances and conferences.

    The standard BS 8300:2009  was published on the 27th February 2009, and recommends that Changing Places toilets should be provided in larger buildings and complexes, such as:

    a) Major transport terminal or interchanges, e.g. large railway stations and airports
    b) Motorway services
    c) Sport and leisure facilities, including large hotels
    d) Cultural centres, such as museums, concert halls and art galleries
    e) Stadia and large auditoria
    f) Shopping centres and shop mobility centres
    g) Key buildings within town centres, e.g. town halls, civic centres and main public libraries
    h) Educational establishments
    i) Health facilities, such as hospitals, health centres and community practices.

    Room Size

    The recommendation is that the dimensions of the room are a minimum of 12 square metres (3 m x 4 m), this provide ample space for a wheelchair and carers, with room to hoist from a wheelchair onto the toilet or changing couch.

    If you are working with a space smaller than 3m x 4m in an existing building, this is acceptable if reasonable adjustments cannot be made to the building, however the room must be at least 7 metres square – any smaller than this and the space is too small to allow effective transfers.

    Location and Accessibility

    Before starting work on your facility, it is worth thinking about the location and management of the room. Check that it is easily accessible to wheelchair users, and that it can be managed by staff. Remember that there will high value specialist equipment within the room, so think carefully about how access to the room will be managed.

    In all cases a full risk assessment of the Changing Places toilet should be undertaken to include the surrounding area, and the following questions should be asked:

    • Is the location isolated?
    • Is the Changing Places toilet venue fully accessible by wheelchair?
    • What staff support is available to allow access and maintenance of the toilet?

    Layout requirements

    Whilst rooms may vary in shape and size, there is a clearly defined list of requirements that all room must incorporate.

    • There must be direct access from the door into a clear manoeuvering space in the centre of the room – try and avoid rooms at the end of corridors with twists and turns, and rooms that have small alcoves outside
    • Within the room itself ensure that there is sufficient clear space to enable a wheelchair user and two assistants to manoeuvre around the room – following the space and size requirements above will meet this.
    • Fixed and free­standing equipment should be positioned to maximise the manoeuvring space within the room – the standard layouts all incorporate this into the design, but if you room is a slightly different shape please contact us.
    • There should be easy direct transfer using hoist (preferably overhead hoist) between clear the main transfer area and the toilet and changing bench.
    • A peninsular toilet should be positioned to provide room for an assistant/carer on either side of the toilet. (Please note that this is different from a Doc M toilet, which requires a toilet in the corner).
    • If you decide to install a shower the shower unit and detachable shower head should be located close to head of changing bench.
    • If you are installing a shower, a floor drain positioned underneath the shower couch will prevent water flowing across room. Some types of shower couch also provide for a direct drain connection from the couch.
    • A privacy curtain or screen should be positioned to shield the WC and to provide adequate space either side, but where it will not cause an obstruction when retracted. Often free standing screens are a better option as they will not clash with the overhead hoist.
    • There should be grab rails located on the back of the door, either side of the basin, and either side of the toilet, additionally drop down rails should be provided wither side of the toilet for additional support.

    All Changing Places toilets should display clear signage indicating how access can be gained. It is also vital that information about access and the need for users to bring their own slings etc is put on relevant Council and venues websites, publicity leaflets and promotional material.

    Location registration

    There are Changing Places in many locations across the UK.  Changing Places Organization provide a map so that your users can find a location where they are visiting. It is worth noting that in order to be registered on the website, the facilities must be open to the public and installed in addition to, not in replacement of, standard accessible toilets for independent use

    Visit the following link to find locations: https://changingplaces.uktoiletmap.org/

    Planning a Changing Places toilet? – Contact us today.

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

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