Over a quarter of a million severely disabled people in the UK, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, don’t have access to public toilet facilities that meet their needs. As a result, these people can’t participate in the day-to-day activities that so many of us take for granted.
Standard accessible (’disabled’) toilets don’t provide changing benches or hoists, and most are too small to accommodate more than one person.
Without Changing Places toilets, severely disabled persons are put at risk. Families or carers are forced to change them on toilet floors, in the back of their car, or a number of other places that are equally unhygienic and undignified. This puts the individual and the person administering the care at risk.
The Department for Health and Social Care has announced £2 million in funding to install over 100 Changing Places toilets in NHS hospitals.
Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage, said: “It is utterly shocking how few Changing Places toilets there are currently in NHS hospitals and other public spaces. People with disabilities and their carers rightly expect to find suitable facilities in a hospital of all places. A quarter of a million disabled people need Changing Places and this investment will mean many more of them can access a toilet safely and comfortably. Whilst this is something most of us take for granted, access to spaces like these make a big difference to the lives of disabled people and their carers.”
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