Changing Places to be mandatory in public buildings

The government has announced that new buildings and redevelopments will need to provide Changing Places toilets under new proposals.

The consultation, to be launched soon, means that new shopping centres, stadiums and theme parks, as well as other new publicaly-accesible buildings, will be required to provide Changing Places toilets for severly disabled people. Changing Places in public buildings can allow those with disabilities to go out in public without fear and stress. They are larget than standard disabled toilets and include extra equipment, such as hoists and adult-sized changing benches.

Moreover, the Department for Health and Social Care has announced £2 million in funding to install over 100 Changing Places toilets in NHS hospitals, improving on the current 30 Changing Places on the NHS estate in England. This follows a recent and similar announcement by the Department for Transport, to install more Changing Places toilets in motorway service stations.

Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak 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 in the New 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."