What’s inside a Changing Places Facility?

What’s inside a Changing Places Facility?
Diane Cossie

What’s inside a Changing Places Facility?

As mentioned in an introduction to Changing Places facilities, these special toilets are different to accessible toilets, and have a range of equipment and design features to help severely disabled people use the bathroom in comfort.

This blog focusses on what makes a Changing Places facility different and what’s inside a Changing Places Facility for it to be considered suitable.

What is Considered a Changing Places Facility?

There are lots of requirements needed in a restroom for it to be considered a Changing Places facility and use the CP name. This is to save any confusion and ensure that a facility advertised as Changing Places meets the expectations and needs of those who use them.

A good place to look for guidance is BS8300 design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people. BS8300 is a British Standard providing guidance on how buildings should be designed, constructed and maintained to create an accessible and inclusive environment for disabled people. This includes restroom facilities; there are 40 pages within the standard that relate specifically to the provision of sanitary accommodation.

Guidance on Changing Places facilities are incorporated into the guidance, stating that they should be provided in larger buildings and complexes with public access or where visitors might be expected to spend long periods of time.

More detailed information can be found in section four of the practical guide provided by the Changing Places Consortium.

 

What Equipment is Needed for a Changing Places Facility?

The requirements for a facility to be considered Changing Places are numerous. Below we have listed the main pieces of equipment that are required.
This list is in addition to other items, such as wide paper dispensers, assistance alarms, mirrors, and waste bins. All of these features must be carefully considered when planning a Changing Places facility; to make a guests experience as safe and comfortable as possible. Ventilation and heating must also be considered in adapted bathrooms (imagine how uncomfortable it would be to be washed or changed in an unhated room).

Toilet
The toilet in a Changing Places should be peninsula style to provide ease of access from both sides and people who are lowered by a hoist.

Height adjustable sink
Ideally a height adjustable sink should be provided to allow people to use it from either a seated or standing position. This is for the comfort of both wheelchair users and those assisting them.

Grab rails
Grabrails and drop­down support rails should be provided to both sides of the WC to offer support to people while transferring and seated.

Taps
Should be easy to operate and configured so as not to cause confusion or injury. Mixer taps, and automatic infra-red taps should be avoided.

Ceiling track hoist
A ceiling track host which covers the whole room should be provided. This is to enable a facility user to be comfortably transferred between the toilet, changing bench and washing facilities. A sling isn’t required in a Changing Places facility – these are usually brought along by guests or their assistants.

Privacy screen
A mobile privacy screen should be provided. Some people only need help transferring to a toilet, so a screen affords them privacy whilst using the loo. Care assistants can also utilise these if they need to use the bathroom.

Height adjustable changing bench
An adult sized, height adjustable changing bench should be provided for those who need to be laid down for changing, dressing or showering. The height can be adjusted for guests who can self-transfer and then again by their assistant to a comfortable working height.

Shower
Showers are not a Changing Places requirement but should be considered in leisure facilities such as swimming pools. Showers should be ‘wet room’ style, not have steps into them, and feature appropriate seating.
Take a look at our example Changing Places facility and equipment list.

Get Help Planning A Changing Places Facility

The list above contains the main features of a Changing Places facility, but there are also room dimensions to consider, doors, signage and whole host of special features. Even decorating and lighting should be considered to provide the most comfortable experience you possibly can for your disabled guests.
This can all sound rather daunting and confusing but here at iHUS we can guide you through this process and advice you on where to put your new facility, building regulations, and all the equipment needed.
Our Changing Places facilities exceed BS8300 requirements and what’s more, we can manage the entire project from start to finish for you.

Let’s plan a project…

With over 30 years’ experience in construction, iHUS are one of the UK’s leading disabled adaptations companies – specialising in the design and installation of Changing Places facilities. We certainly know what’s inside a Changing Places Facility.

Get in touch to book a consultation and discover how you can open your business to more people.