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CHANGING PLACES IN HOSPITAL

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NHS Trusts are being urged to implement new ‘best practice’ guidelines to facilitate the hygiene and safety of disabled users of their buildings.

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 The Department of Health’s Health Building Note 00-02: sanitary spaces has just been updated, and now incorporates specification details for a Changing Places assisted accessible toilet- previously not covered under the guidelines.

 “Over a third of NHS users are disabled people, and access health services more frequently, but for many, typical wheelchair-accessible toilets are not suitable,” explains Changing Places campaigner Lorna Fillingham. “They need a carer to help them, and may need changing or lifting. Without enough space, an adult-sized changing bench and hoist, they either end up having to sit in a soiled pad or lie on the toilet floor. Neither option is acceptable, for health, hygiene or wellbeing, and especially not in a health building!

 “Yet of all the 2,300 British hospitals, less than 10% have Changing Places toilets. Their inclusion in the Building Note is a major step in the right direction. It reinforces the need.

 “Under the Equality Act 2010, which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act, there is a requirement to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ including to the built environment where a disabled person would otherwise be at a ‘substantial’ disadvantage: isn’t having to lie on a toilet floor or sit in faeces a ‘substantial’ disadvantage?”

 Clos-o-Mat is the UK’s leading provider of disabled toilet solutions in and out of the home. It has also undertaken more Changing Places than any other single provider, due in part to its unique ability to project manage the complete installation from design to commissioing and ongoing service & maintenance.

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Clos-o-Mat is also unique in the depth of support provided, from design advice, site surveys, CAD blocks, 2D and 3D visualisations, white papers and technical and compliance guidance, much of which is available to access freely  via its website www.clos-o-mat.com

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