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Changing Places Toilets Now Compulsory In New Public Buildings

Severely disabled people will find they enjoy greater access to public places in new buildings after the government announced that Changing Places toilets would be made compulsory.

More than 250,000 people will benefit from the change, with larger accessible toilets equipped with hoists, curtains, space for carers and adult-sized changing benches.

A £30 million fund to install these toilets in existing buildings will open in the next couple of months, with the government estimating that it will add the facilities to over 150 new buildings each year.

Without these facilities, disabled people and their carers face manually lifting people out of wheelchairs, reducing the amount of time spent out of the house and thus restricting their social lives, having to change loved ones on toilet floors and limiting what they drink so they don’t need to go to the toilet while they’re out.

Director of campaigns, care and support at Muscular Dystrophy UK Rob Burley said: “This is huge news for the quarter of a million people in the UK who need Changing Places toilets. Having access to these much-needed facilities increases independence and improves quality of life.

“This legislation will make it easier for disabled people and their families to enjoy activities that many take for granted, whether that’s a day’s shopping or attending a concert.”

There are now more than 1,400 of these toilets around the UK, up from the 140 seen in 2007, but more are required in order to support the people who need them. Such facilities give those with complex needs, and their carers, the freedom and confidence to go out more and make more journeys by road.

This latest round of funding will see 87 of the 118 service stations in England have one of these toilets installed in the early 2020s. They have been designed to be completely accessible, providing sufficient space and equipment for anyone who can’t use the toilet independently.

This is great news considering that lockdown restrictions are now being eased around the UK and people can start to travel once again. After having been cooped up at home for so long, no doubt many of you are keen to get out and about, and start seeing the world again – so it will be heartening to hear that it will become easier to do so in the future.

These facilities will be mandatory in the likes of newly built art galleries, concert halls, cinemas, conference centres, hotels that have leisure facilities, libraries, places of worship, museums and theatres.

Shopping centres and retail parks, sport and leisure buildings above a certain size will also need to have them installed, as will exhibition centres, zoos, theme parks and stadiums with a capacity above 2,000 people.

Do you need to install an accessible wet room? Get in touch with Absolute Mobility to see how we can help.

 

If you are interested in finding out more information call us on 01491 411041 or visit our website www.absolutemobility.co.uk

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