NHS Changing Places Funding Available Now
News of the Changing Places funding was announced back in December 2018 by Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care, but details on the application process were only launched recently.
The reasons for the making the funding available is because of the lack of Changing Places toilets in NHS hospitals. There is an overall lack of CP toilets in the UK but considering the people who need these bathrooms the most are likely to spend a portion of their time in hospital for appointments etc, the initiative comes as welcome news.
There are over 1200 Changing Places that are registered at present in the UK, but the majority of these are in private attractions or community facilities; of those locations, only between 30-40 are on NHS sites such as hospitals.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government are still reviewing current Building Regulations to decide whether they should be updated to make Changing Places facilities mandatory in large, public buildings. This could take some time though so NHS trusts would be smart to act now and apply for funding.
Who Can Apply for The Funding?
As mentioned, applications are open now and £2 million has been set aside to enable NHS acute hospital trusts to receive funding for a Changing Places toilet.
Primary care providers, community hospitals and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are not eligible to apply for the funding – or providers private health services. This is to ensure that the funding has the greatest possible impact for people who need to use Changing Places facilities, as hospitals are likely to have the greatest footfall of buildings on the NHS Estate.