Fully-accessible disabled toilets – known as Changing Places – are needed by more than a quarter of a million people across the UK. But because there aren’t enough of these facilities, severely disabled children and adults have to be changed on dirty toilet floors or stay at home.
This year, the Changing Places Consortium has highlighted how common the toilets are – and where there has been progress this past year:
- There are now 1,620 Changing Places toilets across the UK
- A new Changing Places website has launched including a refreshed Changing Places toilet map where users can search by venue, size of toilet, and a route planner
- The Co-Chairs of the Changing Places Consortium and MHCLG advised and supported the roll-out of a £30m fund to install Changing Places toilets in existing buildings across England
- A landmark Changing Places survey was launched to hear from users in England about where these toilets are most-needed
- Tesco installed its 100th Changing Places toilet (December 2020)
- The Tower of London became the oldest UK building to install a Changing Places toilet (November 2020)
- A prime-time slot on The One Show highlighted the need for more Changing Places toilets.
The Changing Places Consortium and its co-chairs, Muscular Dystrophy UK, are also calling for legislation to make it compulsory for every new, large public building to include a Changing Places facility. For this they are encouraging people to help with their campaign, by writing to their MP for example.
Karen Hoe OBE, Changing Places Manager at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: "There are 250,000 people in the UK with severe disabilities who rely on Changing Places toilets to be able to use the bathroom both safely and with dignity. This is not a privilege – it’s a basic human right. We promise to continue campaigning and working with stakeholders so that more Changing Places toilets are installed.”