Specialist Patient Handling Equipment

Changing Places – The toilet options available

Changing Places Toilets

Importance of Changing Places Toilets

Over a 1/4 million people need Changing Places toilets to enable them to get out and about and enjoy the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people.

Important considerations for toilet installations in Changing Places

In a Changing Places facility, the toilet should be centrally located as a “peninsular” at least a metre away from walls on either side. By providing space on both sides of the toilet, wheelchair transfers or assistance from carers is enabled, leading to a safer experience for  the users. The toilet should be extra deep to enable hoists to work with it and a back support is often very helpful too.

The toilet itself can be a standard close coupled toilet, or an automatic wash-and-dry toilet may be provided, but is not a requirement of the Changing Places standard. Close-coupled toilets are a good choice as this design provided an integral backrest and, providing the cistern has a flat top, provides a shelf for colostomy bags.

The toilet should have a seat height of 480mm, to facilitate transfer from a wheelchair. Seats with a gap at the front should not be used as this shape can make it difficult for people to transfer and the gap is a potential hazard.

Wall-mounted vertical grab-rails and drop-down support rails should be provided to both sides of the toilet to offer support to people when transferring in a seated position. The wall-mounted vertical grabrails assist people adopting a frontal transfer and people who are able to stand while using the toilet.

Influencing factors

When working with a customer on Changing Places schemes the final specification of the toilet will depend on a number of factors including:

  • Budget – A standard toilet is the most cost effective option, however a higher specification will often provide a higher level of functionality and independence for users.
  • Space – Whilst space should not be an issues in a Changing LP{aces facility, if an older building is being refurbished, and a smaller room is being utilised, there may not be aspcae for a certain types of toilet
  • Services available – Again this should not be an issue if the room is in a new build, but if a room is being refurbished, the location of the services may affect the type of toilet fitted.
  • Anticipated users of the facility. This is probably the biggest factor, for example ina facility where there are many differing age users, e.g. a theme park, a height adjustable toilet may be more appropriate. If the facility is to be used mainly by persons with a higher degree of independence, an automatic wash dry toilet may be more appropriate.

The toilet options

Standard Toilet – As a cost effective option, a standard toilet will meet the Changing Places requirements,. As discussed above, it should be extra deep to enable wheelchair transfers, and provided with a backrest for semi independent users. A high toilet is also useful for user who can walk, and this will also be compatible with the hoist system.

Height Adjustable Toilet – Useful to be able to change the height for different users. Height adjustment is available in manual and electric versions.  Also can come with grab-rails attached.

Aquaclean – Auto wash/dry.  Automatic WC that does everything for you…..  Perfect for those who want to maintain dignity and independence in the bathroom. At the touch of a button the AquaClean 8000 plus Shower Toilet will wash, clean and dry after using the toilet. This toilet combines all the features of a conventional WC and bidet, with the comfort of warm-air drying. A simple to use shower, drying and air purifying operation makes for a cleaner and more hygienic experience that is virtually hands-free. Fresh heated water cleaning at body temperature allows for a much more pleasant and comfortable sensation, yet the manual feature enables conventional use if the bathroom is used by multiple persons.

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 today

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