According to the Government’s Changing Places Toilets Consultation Paper, a Changing Places facility should provide “a door with a minimum clear opening width of 1m” to accommodate the facilities users and carers.
An outward opening door, to enable those with limited mobility or impaired balance is most beneficial and is in line with BS8300 regulations.
With Changing Places, there are different types of facilities:
Along with that comes a variety of access options:
It’s important to acknowledge that there is also a wide range of door access options in between.
The Changing Places Consortium, lean more towards the ‘pro access’ side of the argument, because of the reasons discussed earlier in this blog. However, at RISE we understand the needs of the business and aim to tailor toilet door access to what is most beneficial for the organisation and the facilities’ users.
We have explored many toilet door access options with our clients in the past, below are a few examples.
Having an access pad with a code installed on the door. Although ideal for some businesses there is pros and cons to this option – it may discriminate against people who don’t have good hand-eye coordination or have poor eyesight. This option also requires a commitment from staff to be on hand to provide the code. An access pad system in an unmanaged facility can cause difficulty if the code is not easy to obtain.
Some businesses have opted to have a key system for their toilet. A key can be specific to your location or can be used to access other CP toilets in the area – the latter is usually arranged in liaison with your Local Authority and in effect becomes a miniature RADAR system, applicable to your area. However, there may be delays in guests obtaining the key, which restricts them from using facilities until the key arrives.
The purpose of Changing Places is to provide accessible facilities for all those who need them. Having to cross certain boundaries to use the facilities means it doesn’t allow for spontaneity and likely discriminates against people. The process of applying for a specific area key or onsite key must be efficient and available to all those who may benefit from Changing Places.
However you decide to provide access, don’t forget to install clear signage on how customers can gain that access.
Such mechanisms should work, in theory, with any physical access system the organisation decides to use.
We advise against a simple self-closing system due to solo users having difficulties pushing the door open and getting out simultaneously. Similarly, a pull to start system mounted on a door shouldn’t be installed, as a solo user would have to move out of the way once the system is engaged, which may create issues.
A fully electronic system cannot communicate with the RADAR system, so it’s not recommended in unmanaged facilities.
We understand that some specific options are the only viable ones for businesses. Our priority with toilet door access in Changing Places facilities is to provide the safest and most efficient experience for users and carers as well as meet the needs of the business.
Ultimately, choosing the right access solution for your Changing Places toilet door comes down to three things:
In most cases, a compromise has to be found somewhere in the middle between businesses and users, but we urge business owners not to view access management as an obstacle to installing a Changing Places toilet.
There are many different options available for access and with each business, we have worked with, we have managed to find a solution that made everyone happy. We are capable of using solutions we have used before or working with you to find a bespoke option. Please get in touch if you have any questions about CP access and we will be able to guide you through some of the solutions we have installed in the past.
Call 07729 224 738 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgWe’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: email@example.com:00-18:00, Mon-Fri
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