According to the Government’s response to the consultation on Changing Places Toilets – “Those with objections to the increased provision of changing places toilets were concerned with: a. The costs that would fall on the private sector; b. Impacts on historic buildings; c. Whether the Government could provide funding or more practical incentives to increase the provision of changing places toilets rather than making it mandatory through the means set out in the consultation.”
In addition, as a Changing Places provider, we have also come across some objections and obstacles in the market. Some are quite frequently heard.
We are committed to challenging Changing Places’ objections and this article highlights some of the most common objections we come across and why we think most of these obstacles can be easily resolved.
Our immediate response to this question is ‘everywhere’. Changing Places facilities are essential to achieve accessibility across all sectors in the UK. Most places in which we would find a toilet and standard disabled access toilets and facilities require a Changing Places facility.
It is essential that the needs of those with profound and multiple disabilities are met – and so at RISE, we have worked with a variety of businesses to make sure we provide solutions that meet both business and Changing Places users’ needs.
When discussing the financial impacts of Changing Places facilities, many organisations want to know how they will afford it.
You can read more about the Government funding proposals for Changing Places here.
We understand that businesses need to prioritise their spending and be conscious of their funds. However, is there a price you can put on offering people the minimum support they need?
The pricing of a Changing Places facility varies, and with RISE it is always something we discuss with organisations during the initial consultation.
There is a multitude of options to counteract the objection regarding funding and price. In 2021, £30 million of government funding was made available, for businesses to install Changing Places facilities in their buildings.
Knowing the type of facility you need, helps both us and you gather an understanding of what funding is required. There are a number of funding options available to businesses who, like us, feel that making organisations more accessible should be of utmost priority.
Further Reading: Additional Changing Places Funding & Grants
Another challenge we face in our attempts to increase the provision of Changing Places facilities is space – organisations felt they perhaps won’t have the appropriate space for a Changing Places toilet.
A Changing Places facility should be 12sqm – adequate space for one disabled individual and up to two carers.
During our initial visit to a business’ premises, our team will take into consideration the amount of available space to offer the best solution for the business. Often, a modular built facility is a viable option for the business.
A modular Changing Places facility provides the required space and equipment to register as an official Changing Places facility. Built offsite and craned into a business establishment, this is a fitting option for those establishments that don’t have the facilities to convert their existing amenities into a Changing Places toilet.
Read more on one of our modular Changing Places Case Studies here or view our guide to CP layouts.
Changing Places toilets require cleaning and maintenance, as with any other toilet facilities. Many businesses who want to make their organisation more inclusive, display valid concerns regarding the management and security of their Changing Places facilities.
The management and maintenance of the facility will of course depend on how often it is used and where it is within the organisation’s establishment. Following standard health and safety regulations, it is essential that Changing Places toilets are kept clean and safe to use. However, this is no more complex than cleaning a standard disabled access toilet.
Those who require the facilities of a Changing Places will be accompanied by carers, family or friends and so members of the organisation’s staff don’t need to monitor these toilets any more than they would with standard toilet facilities.
Checking the facilities are clean and safe can be done by staff in the same way it would be for regular toilets.
Lifting equipment should be managed to control risks of injury or damage. Routine LOLER Testing will be discussed with the RISE team to implement a strategy that works for the business when it comes to checking and managing the safety and condition of the ceiling hoist in a Changing Places toilet.
Changing Places facilities are necessary for those with profound and complex disabilities.
An objection often posed is that organisations are unaware of who needs them, and have never been asked to supply these facilities.
Our simple answer to this is: over a quarter of a million disabled people in the UK, have needs so complex, that are not met by a standard disabled access toilet. That is over a quarter of a million people who potentially are not visiting these public places due to the lack of accessible facilities.
The individuals who Changing Places benefit; elderly with dementia, people with brain injury, and those with multiple and severe learning disabilities, are also people who require assistance when it comes to visiting public places.
The simple answer to this objection is that these people cannot visit places that don’t have these facilities in place. And so, organisations aren’t being asked for them as disabled people are not visiting in the first place. Changing Places toilets will encourage more disabled people to visit these organisations and feel included and relaxed in their visits.
We often encourage companies to carry out consultation processes in their local area. There are several places in which businesses can get feedback from disabled people and their families including; special educational needs schools, community groups, and local disabled charities. Ask the people directly, what do they want?
Many organisations pose the concern of access to a Changing Places facility and how they are unable to manage this. Whether your Changing Places toilet is a modular build or located within your premises, access mustn’t be hindered for the people that need to use the facility but that the toilet also remains secure.
There are several ways to work around access concerns and we have always managed to come up with a solution that suits both the needs of the business and the toilet users:
As with many standard disabled access toilets – Changing Places facilities can be accessed using a Radar key. This means the toilet is only accessible to those who are registered with the National Key Scheme.
If the facilities are easily monitored by staff, there is no reason why these toilets can’t be opened at all times, whether only during business hours or 24/7. Sure this isn’t practical for all businesses but it means the toilets are accessible to all those who need them.
This is another option for organisations that require maximum control and security of their facilities. Users of the Changing Places can gain access via a unique code that is given to them upon request.
To summarise, there are solutions to the most common objections that we face.
Here at Rise, we are always happy to go the extra mile to help find the right solution for both the organisation and the Changing Places users and their families.
Have some concerns or need advice on Changing Places facilities? Let us know! Or, you can have a look at our ready-made business case for Changing Places Toilet here.
Call 07729 224 738 or email email@example.comWe’re open Monday to Friday, 08:00-18:00.
To learn more about Changing Places, why not download our brochure or attend one of our monthly online seminars.
Call: 07729 224 738email: firstname.lastname@example.org:00-18:00, Mon-Fri
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