The recent announcement by the Government on proposals to make Changing Places Toilets for people with severe disabilities mandatory in new large public buildings has been called a vital step forward by St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double.
New shopping centres, stadiums and theme parks are among buildings that could be required to provide Changing Places toilets under proposals to be put forward by the government.
Ministers will launch a consultation this year on proposals to include these essential facilities in all new large publicly-accessible buildings. Currently, building regulations guidance only recommends Changing Places toilets are provided.
Alongside this, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced £2 million to install over 100 Changing Places toilets in NHS hospitals throughout England. There are currently only around 30 to 40 Changing Places on the NHS England estate, and this investment will enable Trusts to increase accessibility.
Commenting, Steve said:
“I have met with local campaigners to discuss the importance of providing accessible toilets for everyone in public places, particularly in NHS facilities.”
“It is common sense that everyone should be able to use toilet facilities and I very much hope this consultation, which is a vital step forward to increasing accessibility for disabled people, will lead to these changes being put in place without delay.”
“I will do all I can to continue to highlight these issues and ensure Cornwall gets its fair share of the funding for Changing Places toilets in NHS hospitals that has been announced.”
Commenting, Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak MP said:
“Changing Places toilets make a huge difference to the lives of severely disabled people. I want to see these facilities included as standard in new large buildings like shopping centres and cinemas, so more disabled people can be assured peace of mind and dignity when they are away from home.”
“The government will consult this year on how best to do this, including changing building regulations if required, if it means more disabled people can get access the essential services they deserve.”
Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage, added:
“It is utterly shocking how few Changing Places toilets there are currently in NHS hospitals and other public spaces. People with disabilities and their carers rightly expect to find suitable facilities in a hospital of all places.”
“A quarter of a million disabled people need Changing Places and this investment will mean many more of them can access a toilet safely and comfortably. Whilst this is something most of us take for granted, access to spaces like these make a big difference to the lives of disabled people and their carers.”