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Boost for hospital Changing Places

27 January 2020

The Government has committed to giving half a million pounds to expand the number of Changing Places in hospitals across the UK.

Changing Places are toilets with additional equipment such as changing benches for adults, hoists and sometimes wet room facilities.

There are currently only around 40 Changing Places in hospitals. In time, the new funding should take this number to over 100.

The initial funds will enable 15 new Changing Places to be built. Caroline Dinenage, Minister for Care has said a further £1.5 million will be available to bid for, and has called for new build hospitals to have Changing Places built into them. 40 new hospitals are planned. “People with severe disabilities deserve to live with dignity and comfort, but lack of access to adequate toilet facilities can be a real challenge. Hospitals, like all public spaces, have a duty to cater for people with disabilities – who risk discomfort, embarrassment and even injury without access to a Changing Place.

“Inclusivity and accessibility for those with disabilities is at the heart of good NHS care. While today will help us to double the number of Changing Places in NHS Trusts, we still have far to go – I expect every hospital development to include a Changing Place facility in their future plans.”

DRUK's Anna Morell welcomed the move as a "first step" but urged more ambitious action.

She told Sky News: "There are a quarter of a million people who need to use these facilities across the country. It would be amazing to see them in every hospital, and what we'd like to see in time is one on every ward - just like with [standard] toilets."

More on Changing Places at Sky News here: https://news.sky.com/story/campaigners-call-for-fully-accessible-disabled-toilets-on-every-hospital-ward-11916210