Helping make NHS toilets safe

Research reveals lack of accessible toilets in healthcare buildings

A new report claims that UK hospitals and clinics are putting disabled people and their carers at risk by not providing appropriate toilet facilities.

The toiletaccess report- Making a Case for Fully Accessible Toilets Within the NHS - says toilets in NHS buildings have been found to be unsafe and that trusts fail to ensure the dignity, safety and wellbeing of patients, staff and carers.

In addition, of the 206 acute and mental health trusts surveyed, only 42 have a basic Changing Places assisted accessible toilet for people who need a carer’s help.

Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading provider of disabled toilet solutions, has already put in place solutions to help NHS trusts address the problem.

Its white paper, Provision of Changing Places Toilets in Hospitals & the Healthcare Industry, provides unbiased advice on legal requirements and good practice guidelines, according to all relevant documents – the Equality Act 2010, Building Regulations Approved Document M, and BS8300:2009.

“Research shows some 30% of NHS users in the UK are disabled, and hospitals are the second most-inaccessible buildings for them,” said Kelvin Grimes, Clos-o-Mat’s Changing Places project manager.

“Legally, any service provider has to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the built environment that would put someone at a substantial disadvantage, and those adjustments should be made in anticipation of a need being demonstrated.

“Those adjustments include suitable toilet provision. Provision of toilets is a basic human right, under the European Convention of Human Rights, yet is, according to the toiletaccess report, the most overlooked human right.

“We go to the toilet on average eight times a day. Think how long we spend in a hospital, even for a routine outpatient appointment, and the chances are you will need to use the toilet.”

Copies of the white paper are available for free download from Clos-o-Mat’s website.

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