Poo at the zoo.

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This week is Love your Zoo Week run by BIAZA. The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) is the professional body representing the best zoos and aquariums in the UK and Ireland.

Baby elephant

Chester Zoo

 
1.3 million people visit member organisations every year. Only a small percentage are disabled people and their friends/families because few venues provide toilet facilities with 

  1. a hoist and changing bench, 
  2. space for modern wheelchairs or 
  3. one that is fully equipped for able wheelchair users and those with other impairments e.g. Bowel/bladder disorders, autism, mental ill health, epilepsy, obesity, shortened height.

 BIAZA members contribute over £650 million to the national economy.

If the venue doesn’t provide a hoist or height adjustable toilet, this means a lot of people can’t visit. People with poor balance, weak legs or arms may not be able to stand up from an accessible seat. 

People with muscle and nerve disorders, balance or co ordination difficulties or frailty from old age may need this equipment.  They may not necessarily use a wheelchair.  

There are no height adjustable toilets in any zoo, aquariums or wildlife parks in the UK.

If standing up from the loo (or standing by the loo) is impossible, such individuals have to be lifted up / carried in the arms of relatives or find a toilet with a hoist and changing bench. Wheelchair users with weak arms/legs also need hoist facilities.

Hoist, toilet and changing bench

Chester Zoo


There are a number of zoos etc who provide such essential equipment and the space to use it. 

These are:

  • Marwell Zoo (first in UK to equip toilets for all visitors)
  • Bristol Zoo Gardens
  • Blair Drummond Safari Park
  • Tilgate Park
  • Chester Zoo
  • Chessington World of Adventures Resort
  • Tropical Wings Zoo (opening soon)
  • Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo
  • Cotswold Wildlife Park
  • Colchester Zoo
  • Yorkshire Wildlife Park (hoist and toilet)
  • Wingham Wildlife Park
  • Pili Palas Nature World
  • Camperdown Wildlife Centre (opening soon)
  • Edinburgh Zoo (hires in a bed and hoist for 1 week per year)
  • Whipsnade

(List excludes bird and wildlife reserves and parks/forests).

Possible future venues:

  • Living Coasts
  • Paignton Zoo
  • Newquay Zoo
  • Twycross Zoo
  • London (only hoist and bench currently – no toilet)

Specifically stating no hoist facilities:

  • Woburn Safari Park

However, there are over 100 venues who do not offer usable toilet facilities – not even for people who don’t use a hoist.

Why do they exclude disabled people?

Changing Places low usage?

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Gill, a fellow toileteer, had a couple of questions – which I felt might be a useful topic to take a look at. Here is the first one:

Changing Places: Changing places room is greatly needed and appreciated by users, but it would appear that in general they get very little use. I believe that this is partly due to signage. The facility might appear on an app but once in the building there may be poor directions. Also once found they might well be locked and someone has to go on a key hunt. Apparently some providers are closing them as they have never been used, and the average usage is once every six months. There’s been a suggestion that they could become a more multi use facility? eg first aid room; baby changing room for a disabled parent. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Changing Places and similar toilets are very valuable. However, imagine you’re a shop or tourist attraction who has invested thousands in providing a large fully accessible toilet with a hoist and bench… only to find it’s rarely used. A waste of money, you say angrily, as you knock it down to make way for valuable retail space. 

Aghhhhh. What went wrong?

We can break down some of the key reasons as to why they are at risk of being underused.

1) The toilet is not signposted within the venue or town.

I’m a CP toilet user and so many times I find there is no signposting. I know from the CP map that the venue has one … but it’s not on any venue map, booklet, and no directions given from public toilet blocks. (O2 Arena, Bluewater Shopping Centre and my local town come personally to mind). 

  • If you don’t tell people where it is then they won’t use it!

Yesterday I looked at the CP map and saw Toddingto Services had one … I went in only to find it was on the northbound side and I was southbound. Whilst it’s on the Google map section of the CP map, the description didn’t indicate which side!

2) The toilet isn’t called a Changing Places. 

Staff might not know that a Changing Places toilet might be labelled, in their venue, as a ‘high dependency unit’ , ‘Space to Change’, ‘Hoist assisted toilet’, ‘Adult Changing Room’ etc. as there is no official standard name.  People who use these toilets might not realise to look/ask for alternative names. (Bluewater/O2 Arena / mobile units come to mind).

In Lincoln castle they have a hoist … but they just call it ‘the accessible toilet’.  No mention of it on their visitor literature!

  • Staff training can help.

3) Location, location, location

These toilets might be a significant investment … so location is critical. Even if a large venue has a CP toilet, if you have to walk for 30 minutes to reach it, you might not use it. Maidstone has one in its council building – great only it’s over 30 minutes fast walk uphill from the museum, theatre, main shopping area etc. It’s quicker for me to drive home!! 

  • Toilets need to be central to the action.

Yesterday I was at Chester Zoo. It’s a huge venue. I was a long way away from the CP toilet (about 600 metres) and it was back in the direction we had come from, so I used a basic loo. Does that count as none use or just my personal choice and need for the loo quicker than we could reach it?  The location is good though and well signposted – in fact I’d say in this instance 2-3 toilets would all be used well. 

  • Sometimes too few CP toilets or wrong locations can risk low overall use.

4) How is use being monitored?

Unless a person has to request one to be opened or someone is constantly watching the entrance (and this is being recorded) then usage monitoring might not be happening.  Use might be ‘guessed’ by  something as simple as ‘the bed paper roll’ still looks full or ‘the toilet roll hadn’t gone down in months’.

These methods have obvious flaws.  Thinking of the many CP toilets I have used, only 1 was visible by staff at a reception desk (who had other work to do rather than to vigilantly act as official toilet monitor). How can venues say with certainty if they are being used or not? 

Do cleaners make notes if it looks ‘used’? 

Most are ‘just toilets’ with no special key  and might be used for clothing changes or something which wouldn’t leave any dent in the toilet roll. I often use my own specialist wipes that are flushable – so you’ll never know I’ve been in.

Could they have other uses?

Thinking about secondary uses, the two obvious choices are noted by Gill. A first aid room or for wheelchair accessible baby changing.

The latter could be problematic in that parents using chairs are likely to need to sit under the changing table area to access their baby and CP benches are not open underneath. A height adjustable baby changing table might be an option that could fit in the full size CP toilet to assist disabled parents.

What about using it as a first aid room? There is nothing in health and safety legislation to suggest that a toilet space can not be a first aid room. However, whether someone would want to be treated in a room with a toilet nearby could be a problematic.  Hygiene and infection control may be an issue and CP benches are often just a shower trolley – not meant for laying on for a prolonged period and not that comfy.  There is also the consideration of what you would do if the room is being used and you needed the toilet or someone needed first aid. How likely this is to occur will depend on many factors. Location of the toilet and size may influence any decision to have a multi use room. For small to medium stores etc, multi use may be worth considering with the addition of a chair and first aid cabinet/wall mounted kit. 

Let a toilet be a toilet 

I see a simple solution. You don’t HAVE to use a bench or hoist to use the facility. Why not just have it as a toilet for use by anyone who would normally need an accessible toilet? Do disabled people in general know they can use it? 

Currently building regulations say that venues need a standard wheelchair accessible toilet  … and CP toilets are additional. 

Well perhaps this should change  – the only difference would be a finger wash basin near the toilet (and this could be fitted in a CP toilet as a moveable / swing out basin perhaps). That way one toilet suitable for all could be provided. Even going as far as enabling parents with children in prams to use the room in smaller venues where low use might be a financial issue? 

Maybe, in small venues, we need to start providing shared facilities that serve more than just disabled hoist/bench users. 

Time for a Change?

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The campaign for toilets with an adult bench, hoist and space for 2 carers resulted in the Changing Places Consortium being formed 10 years ago.

Whilst significant campaigning (largely by individuals with varying styles and mostly by parents) has resulted in the provision of over 850 of these toilets, we wondered whether it’s time for a change? 

Campaign success?

There is no single campaign or campaign  strategy for changing places – individuals can do whatever they want. This makes the campaigns disjointed and dilutes or replicates efforts. You see this regularly across the multitude of social media accounts/Facebook Pages and private blogs identifying themselves as campaigners using the CP symbol. Whilst Aveso and the Consortium generate information sheets and ‘Selfie Kits’ etc … there is a blurring of who or what is the ‘official’ approach. 

Protecting young people

Take the recent episode of parents who collected and posted pictures on the Internet of children (and other people’s children and young adults) on the toilet floor, face showing and wearing incontinence pads. Young people unable to consent to this undignified use of their image. If a school or care business did this it would be a serious child protection and human rights issue. However, when I raised this as a concern the Consortium said parent campaigners are not affiliated with them and can do as they wish. This didn’t stop their official social media accounts from sharing the images.  Mixed messages ensued across multiple Internet forums. The rights of the child were lost amidst the the cause, angering many disabled people.

Would not the responsible approach be to support campaigners with training in methods and ideas which protect the privacy and dignity of children? Just because dignity was lost in being on the floor doesn’t mean the indignity should be extended by their image being shared.  Is this the sort of campaign that can only achieve success by using increasingly shocking images? Thankfully many people did indeed use their creativity and there has been a reduction in the use of children as dignity martyrs – and so individual efforts continue and the campaign actively promotes them. 

Pen v. sword?

Individuals can approach companies in any way they want ranging from polite letters and personal conversations to social media harassment. 

It is likely that as much harm as good has been done with these tactics which has divided campaigners for toilet equality.  How can you have a meaningful, positive conversation when the previous contact they had with a campaigner was focusesd on personal anger, emotion and frustration. 

It’s easy to get angry when you have struggled that day in a cramped toilet and are gathering up your evidence to make a complaint or have ‘that’ conversation. You want to throw the book at them, yell at them. You want to drag them into the toilet and make them see what you have to go through. You want them to empathise and make things right – but all you get is a ‘sorry you were unconvenienced’ letter to fuel the next stage of complaint. 

It’s hard not to let personal emotions damage your chances of negotiating an agreement to provide a toilet you and thousands of others can use. However, we have to remain polite, persistent, factual and professional. Unfortunately not all campaigners do – and that’s a big problem.

Time to rename and rebrand?

Many have kept their distance or tried to move things on locally. There have been issues with Changing Places being built that fall short of the recommended guidelines of 12 sq metres. That said it is a guideline. Some felt a smaller room was acceptable and out sprang the Space to Change campaign with its own logo. Then things became problematic with determining which ones were listed on the CP toilet map.

Recently a local campaign for a new branding of ‘Hoist Assisted Toilets’ has gathered momentum. In fact, one of the problems with the CP toilet was that they were very focused on the needs of people who used incontinence pads. This alienated (in name and focus) people who were continent but needed a hoist or those who needed a bit more space or other equipment. People didn’t like asking for a Changing Place due to the remaining stigma of incontinence. 


This has led to CP toilets being called other names including ‘high dependency unit’, ‘Space to Change’, ‘Adult Changing Room’ etc. It’s confusing and has resulted in staff and visitors talking cross purposes and toilets not being found.  If there was a single campaign with good leadership, one name, one symbol and one strategy then we might have more of these toilets.

The future of toilets 

The result of the above could indicate that change is needed in many areas if we are to benefit from more Changing Places toilets in the UK.

Hoist petition – don’t forget the loo!

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This is the bathroom in the last Premier Inn in Lincoln (above) that I stayed in last year. The design is the newest room module with a bathroom large enough for a portable hoist or over toilet chair. Most older modules have no hoist space.

The bedroom had two single beds and hoist space. Sounds great …. only some travelers would find it easier to not have to carry around / pack a large hoist or toilet chair.

The Ceiling Hoist User Club has a list of hotels in the UK with hoists but they are few and far between.

This Petition to Premier Inn and others is ten months old but the issues are still relevant and worth signing.

What about the toilet?

However, consideration would be needed because current module room layouts would generally not enable a ceiling hoist to access the toilet (and not all travellers want to, or can, take a toilet chair or commode).

If you need a hoist in the bedroom then you will need it in the bathroom too. 

Holiday Inn have some ceiling hoists over the bed … but not over the toilet. No use to people like me.

In the hotel entrance/restaurant or business meeting areas … guess what, no hoist over the loo.

I have MD and peer support events are held at these hotel chains … only I can’t go because of no hoist to use the toilet.

Other considerations 

In rooms,  profiling beds may be required for those who can not get into a hoist sling laying down. 

Access needs to be built in from the start to enable the most people to benefit. 

Isn’t it time for Premier Inn, Travel Lodge and Holiday Inn to develop new types of rooms and guest toilets, accessible to all and to higher access standards? 

Why don’t NHS hospitals have accessible toilets?

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Elderly man with a walking stick holding his hand up to his ear.

What’s that? Don’t talk rubbish. Of course the NHS have accessible toilets for disabled people in all of their hospitals. Don’t they?

You would think so, and yes they do have ‘accessible toilets’ that display the wheelchair symbol on them.  The problem is not many disabled people can easily use these toilets because of the nature of their impairment.

  1. some can’t use them at all
  2. many toilets don’t even meet the building regulations for sanitary provision known as Document M – and the basic regulations don’t cover people like me who have weakened arms and legs.

What if you can’t use the toilet?

Without my husband being present (taking time off work to assist me), I am one of around an estimated 230,000 people who can not use any of these toilets.

I either don’t go out or in the case of my health care appointments/emergencies – my husband must be present lifting/dragging me from my chair, onto the toilet, and propping me up so I don’t fall off. I can not stand or use my arms. It’s very scary, often dangerous for us both and undignified.

Building_reg_toiletThis is a cropped picture provided by building regulations outlining suitable toilets.

It has the outline of a wheelchair (a small sized chair) marked.

How on earth are 1-2 carers and a portable hoist supposed to fit into that space!  The outline of the wheelchair is also a lot smaller than mine (and I’m only a small adult!).

Even if you can stand or use your arms  – you would have to be pretty agile to get from your chair to the toilet independently. Yet as you will see later – this is the ‘standard’. Pretty unusable hey?

Things could be better…. a solution exists.

There are only 23 NHS hospitals in the UK where I can use the toilet, with my assistants.

They have what are known as ‘Changing Places’* – a toilet which has lots more space, a hoist, a changing table for adults and children, privacy curtain and sometimes automated washing and drying /bidet facilities to manage continence in a dignified manner.

*updated list of hospitals providing CP toilets at the end of this blog.

There are no Changing Places toilets in the hospitals I attend.

Many disabled children have to be manually carried/lifted and changed on the floor of toilets or find a free bed – because they do not provide changing tables other than for babies.

Dawn Kelleher describes her recent visit to the newly built Hospital for Children in Cardiff.

Guess what…. Nowhere to change my daughter. All they could offer was a consultants room and a commode with a cardboard pot! They’d never even heard of a changing places toilet. I’m fuming.

Rachel George explains:

I will not change my son on the floor of a public toilet. So we have found other ways, painstaking ways which are really difficult for us but keep him clean and safe from the germs and filth on the floor of a public toilet. My son cannot sit unaided or stand at all but he needs the toilet just like the rest of us.

On our recent trip to a hospital 200miles away for our 8 year old son’s first spinal rod lengthening procedure we had no option but to put him on the toilet in the back of our car. It is a physically difficult experience for us and not really dignified for our beautiful boy either.

 

If venues like zoos, stadiums, leisure centres, shopping centres, council buildings, railway stations, museums and even a pub and a few supermarkets can afford these facilities – then the NHS has no excuse.  You can see the full register here.

Lack of toilet and hygiene facilities should not be a barrier to health care and emergency treatment. It should not be a barrier to being employed by the NHS, volunteering at an NHS venue or a barrier to visiting or accompanying someone in hospital. This is a social and human rights issue thats needs legislation to resolve.

My blog below, highlights, through my experiences, the problems many people face – and the solutions which exist to provide accessible sanitary facilities for disabled people.

For more information about Changing Places visit http://www.changing-places.org

For petitions to improve toilet facilities you may want to consider signing Sarah’s Petition or Samantha Buck’s Petition or Tony Clough’s Petition


Using the toilet requires a lot of ability – do you have what it takes?

Let’s think about the strengths you need to be able to use the accessible toilet. It requires many actions of pulling, pushing, bending, grasping, reaching, twisting, flexing arms and legs, using fine motor control, core balance skills, coordination – and energy!

These are just some of the things you need to be able to do for this ‘simple’ task.

Ability to:

  • see where the toilet room is – and get to the door.
  • raise an arm (or equivalent) and grasp and pull the door open (perhaps against a strong spring), manoeuvre through the door, close it and manage the lock.
  • see where the toilet/sink/light switch is.
  • turn and position yourself (especially if you use a wheelchair, frame, cane etc).
  • move waste bins and other objects out of the way.
  • bend, grasp, lean and balance to successfully remove trousers / pants, lift skirts.
  • lift yourself out of your wheelchair and onto the toilet (or lower yourself down in a controlled and stable fashion if standing).
  • onto a grab rail (balance, grasp, extending arms/raising limbs) [and be able to pull down the grab rail if in the upright position].
  • balance (often for extended periods of time) to urinate/defecate
  • reach and grasp toilet role and twist/reach to wipe thoroughly
  • stand up or transfer back into your wheelchair, if used or reach for cane/frame etc.
  • maintain menstrual hygiene or change a sanitary towel or a soiled pad
  • get clothes back on
  • reach and push on a flush handle/button
  • turn on a tap, reach the sink if you haven’t already washed your hands/equipment.
  • manipulate soap and water to cleanse hands properly
  • hold hands in the air under a dryer.
  • see the door, open the lock and exit the toilet.

As you can see, vast numbers of people would find many of these tasks challenging.

So few people speak out.

old_manOver 12 million people in the UK have an impairment(s) which affect the senses, coordination, dexterity, grasp, mobility, strength, balance, cognitive understanding, continence and energy levels.

4 out of 100 adults (1 in 5 of women over the age of 40) have urinary incontinence and 1 in 10 people will experience bowel incontinence at some point in their lives.

Many of my friends with epilepsy, autism and mental health conditions also need to use these toilets – especially for the emergency cord provision.

Women in their last months of pregnancy also benefit from improved toilet provision.

A ‘standard’ accessible toilet is simply not suitable for so many people – but being about toilets and that taboo that still surrounds the need to pee, poo and menstruate, few people speak out about their dissatisfaction or difficulties – so things really need to change.

How I mange to use the toilet

So, here is what I need (and have at home) – is this too much to ask for?

  • I can’t walk – so I need a toilet space that is accessible in a powered wheelchair. 
  • I can’t stand up and my arms are weak – so I need to use a hoist to lift me out of my chair and onto the toilet.
  • I need space for an assistant to come in with me and help me use the equipment.
  • Also I don’t have much grip or body movement and have bowel incontinence – so ideally an automatic wash and dry toilet would be available for maximum dignity and cleanliness.

Such facilities exists – they are called ‘Changing Places’. They also have privacy screens, changing tables (useful for pad changes, self catheterisation,  or if you need to sit or lay somewhere else to remove clothing) and some have shower/cleaning facilities. Changing Places  shared this photo of an excellent facility at London Gatwick airport with automated toilet/washing/drying facilities.

Julie Clough and her mother Margaret at a CP toilet in London Gatwick.

 

How many NHS hospitals have these toilets facilities?

As of today, there are only 23 buildings in the UK which have changing places toilets for NHS patients, staff, volunteers and visitors who need these types of facilities on the register.

None of the hospitals or clinics I attend have any toilets I can use. I have listed NHS hospital who do have a CP toilet at the bottom of this blog.

Hospital Response

Accessible_Toilet_Sign-2I mailed each of the hospitals I attend and asked their PALS team what I should do if I need the loo, explaining my predicament.

This was their response, in summary.

  • Guys and St Thomas’, London

At first they didn’t understand and suggested my GP refer me to OT services, then when I further explained I had these facilities at home but needed to know what to do at the hospital. They contacted the Head of Buildings and Maintenance and thought that the staff caring for me at the hospital were responsible. They kept in touch and a few days later said they currently have no CP toilets but some are planned for in St Thomas’s. They offered to liaise with staff at Guys to make them aware of my needs.

  • Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust

Estates and Facilities were very unhelpful. They told me “power chair access to the toilet is permitted” and manual wheelchairs are on site to use. Toilets with regular seats (I asked for a toilet and not a commode) are situated in toilets compliant with the building regulations. Hoists are used on site but no offer of where they are, how to use them and what toilet they would fit into safely.

They felt that the standard accessible toilet was big enough for carers to assist in. They have no bidet/washing facilities to manage incontinence.

This response clearly shows a total lack of understanding about the needs of disabled people. I was appalled and dismayed as this is also my local A&E – if I am ill or injured, or my family are, I don’t want to have to be describing my toilet needs to someone and have to wait whilst they figure out a solution for every visit.

  • Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, London

Waiting for a more detailed response but they have been in touch and will look into arrangements for my appointment next year.

  • Oxford University Hospital Trust – no reply yet.

My current strategy

Currently, my husband has to take a day off work to come with me to all my hospital appointments. Many of them he would come to anyway – but not all. If he became ill or injured I could not attend any appointments because I would need the toilet – and there would be nowhere to go.

Currently we have to locate a toilet with enough space (not all accessible toilets have the same amount of space), and he has to lift me out of my chair and onto the toilet (stepping around sinks and other obstacles we can’t move out of the way).

I go to the Royal Brompton Hospital in London – for my respiratory check ups because I use a ventilator to breathe for me a lot of the time.

The toilets are a nightmare. There are lots of clinics with very sick or immobile people who desperately feed back to staff about the lack of shower and toilet facilities – only to be told (according to the notice board in the corridor) that the building is too old to change.

Well, I go to a clinic held in the shell of an old fire station – the inside was gutted and turned into a sleep clinic with an accessible toilet.

IMG_5290This is a modern building interior but still a very small space. I could barely turn around without hitting the wall or the sink and there is no horizontal grab rail on the left hand side. Luckily I lean to the right to prop myself up on the rails. In the other building the lack of grab rails on the right means we can’t use them at all. I have virtually no balance – sometimes I have had to lean over sanity towel bins to stay upright. Pretty disgusting.

You can also see the emergency cord is tied up – which is inconvenient if you have to then go out of the loo and find a member of staff to untie it. This is a common problem lots of people tell me about. We have to take off my tray, footplates and some clothing – there is no space to place it so I have to sit them on top of the bins or on the floor. Yuck.

 

 

IMG_6043As you can see, I can’t get right along side or 90 degrees to the toilet – popular positions for wheelchair users to do safe self-transfers.

My chair is as far back as I can go, blocking off the grab rail on the right hand side from coming down from the wall – so I have to lean on my wheelchair. My ventilator is also getting a bit squashed hanging on the back of my chair. My chair is only 2/3rd of the size of most power chairs – so they probably wouldn’t fit in at all.

As my husband lifts me, he has to drag me sideways and backwards to the toilet seat because of this layout – avoiding the sink that sticks out in front of the toilet (which he often hits his back on).

This is how we manage when outside of the house.

 

In the other building they do have a wash/shower room with space for a portable hoist – but the toilet is located between two walls (rather like a cubicle) so no room for assistants to get along side to help with positioning. You also have to go and find a hoist – it isn’t kept in the room so in theory someone else on the ward could be using it.  It’s also the only toilet room,  of this type, to serve many wards.  When each toilet trip can last 20-40 minutes – this can mean a long wait for other people – not good if you have urge incontinence or a dicky tummy!

We tried another toilet once – but the floor surface was very smooth, slippery and dangerous and we were told for health and safety reasons they couldn’t provide a non-slip mat to stand on!!!

Night from Hell

Basic_Commode_ChairI had to stay the night once and do a sleep study. I had explained that I couldn’t sit on a flat seat commode in advance  – but they provided no alternative. Because of my lack of muscle, my entire upper body rests on two bony ‘bits’  – part of my pelvic bones. The equivalent would be to get to you balance your body on your elbow points – on a hard surface. You would probably pass out after about 30 seconds as the nerve and bone pain is excruciating – so much so it is a method of torture in some countries. That is what I had to endure – twice, because the first time the pain was so bad I couldn’t empty my bladder. There I was, in agony, with my legs balanced on a suitcase for stability, torso hunched over my lap trying to pee. It was hell. I had pressure sore pain for weeks after.

Locally

Seeing my GP is also tricky – they were running over an hour late once and I was desperate for the loo by the time I got home. I nearly had to abandon my appointment as the urge was too much. Holding your bladder can give you pain, nausea, vomiting and heart palpitations and push urine back up into your kidneys. So, going to the GP could make me sick!

Essentially, without access to a toilet with a hoist in it, I can’t visit any NHS building with my assistants – unless I hold myself.

Solution

Disabled people have the right to be able to use the toilet in the manner that other people do – as and when the need arises, in a way that is hygienic, safe, dignified and as pain free as possible.

Not having suitable toilet facilities denies people access to routine and emergency healthcare.

We need legislation so that all NHS hospitals and treatment clinics can have a Changing Places Toilet with hygiene / cleaning facilities for anyone who can’t manage in a standard ‘accessible’ toilet.


If you found this blog insightful or helpful, please comment, like or let me know – thank you.


Locations of current toilets:

In England, the first hospital to have one was the Royal Hallamshire in Sheffield for patients, staff and visitors.

There are now toilets in (updated 22 May 2015):

Hospitals with a CP toilet

1 Barrhead Health and Medical Centre
2 Harold Wood Polyclinic
3 Ninewells Hospital and Medical School

4 Preston SMRC Specialist Mobility Rehabilitation Centre
5 Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village
6 Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
7 Addenbrookes Hospital
8 Blaydon Leisure and Primary Care Centre
9 Broadgreen University Hospital
10 Chorley & South Ribble District Hospital
11 Darlington Memorial Hospital
12 Dr Grays hospital
13 Finchley Memorial Hospital
14 Glen loch Centre, Whitehills Hospital
15 Great Ormond Street NHS Trust
16 Hornsea Cottage Hospital
17 James Cook University Hospital (The)
18 Leighton Hospital 
19 Lynebank wheelchair clinic, Lynebank Hospital
20 Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
21 Northampton General Hospital
22 Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, City Hospital
23 Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Queen’s Medical Centre
24 Royal Hallamshire Hospital
25 Royal Liverpool University Hospital
26 Sheffield Northern General hospital
27 South Bristol NHS Community Hospital
28 South Liverpool NHS Treatment Centre
29 Stafford Hospital
30 Trelawney Wing, Royal Cornwall Hospital
31 University Hospital Wales
32 Victoria Hospital, Fife
33 Woodend Hospital
34 York Hospital
 
Not a full CP toilet but either a hoist or bench provided.
 
  1. Diana Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby (Bench and hoist) in Assisted Living Project
  2. Sheffield Children’s Hospital (Bench and hoist)
  3. London Everlina Children’s Hospital (Bench and hoist)
  4. West Kent Wheelchair Clinic, Cox Heath (portable hoist and large space)
  5. South mead Hospital, Bristol (is this the same as South Bristol?) (Bench and hoist)
Due in the next year or future
  1. St Thomas’, London
  2. Cardiff Heath Hospital
  3. Norton Hospital, Swansea
Discontinued or plans fell through
  1. Wrexham Maelor, North Wales?