Change Building & Planning Regulations to Make Changing Places Toilets Compulsory
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I am calling on the government to make urgent changes to building and planning regulations to ensure that Changing Places toilet facilities, with adult changing bench, hoist and enough space for 2 carers, are provided in all large public buildings as they are built, redeveloped or refurbished.
My daughter is 7 and has global development delay and is a wheelchair user. Her disability means she is unable to maintain a sitting balance and as she is non-verbal she cannot tell me when she needs the loo, this means she wears nappies.When she needs changing while we are away from home, we often struggle to find facilities in which to do so. She is getting too large for a baby changing unit and our only other option is the toilet floor, which is unsanitary, unhygienic and in my mind inhumane as well as undignified. I don't know what body fluids may have spilled there, or what might have been brought in on someone's shoes or wheels. This is a completely unacceptable and unreasonable situation for anybody to be exposed to. I am also aware that each time I lift her, I am putting myself at risk of an acute back injury and this will become more of a risk as she gets older and bigger, how people manage to change adults in this way beggars belief.
There are more than a quarter of a million disabled people across the country who need the facilities a changing places toilet offers.
British Standards 8300/2018 says that Changing Places toilets should be provided in larger buildings and complexes,
a) major transport termini or interchanges, e.g. large railway stations and airports
b) motorway services
c) sport and leisure facilities, including large hotels
d) cultural centres, such as museums, concert halls and art galleries and faith centres;
e) stadia and large auditoria
f) large commercial retail premises and shopping centres;
g) key buildings within town centres, e.g. town halls, civic centres and main public libraries
h) educational establishments
i) health facilities, such as hospitals, health centres and community practices.
j) other visitor attractions, such as theme parks, monitored beaches and parks.
I believe that it should be compulsory for “Changing Places” toilets (with changing benches, hoists and enough space for carers) to be installed in the public places mentioned in BS 8300/2018, and that they MUST be included in plans before planning permission can be granted. I also believe that the location of the nearest “Changing Places” toilet be advertised in standard disabled toilets as too often the disabled public are unaware of where the most appropriate facilities are, due to them not being widely advertised, and with not everyone having access to the internet.
When the usual choice currently is to provide inhumane treatment by toileting in an inappropriate place without appropriate equipment, or to have somebody sat in their own body fluids for prolonged periods or worse still to be socially isolated due to the lack of appropriate toilet facilities, it can be said that government can and must do better then this. They need to make Changing Places toilets compulsory for large public buildings as listed in BS 8300/2018.
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