In today’s modern society, the importance of creating inclusive environments cannot be overstated. It is the responsibility of local councils to ensure that their communities are accessible and welcoming to all individuals, regardless of their abilities.

One crucial aspect of achieving inclusivity is through installing a Changing Places facility. These specially designed facilities provide accessible and hygienic spaces for people and their carers to meet all personal care needs while out and about. By investing in Changing Places, local councils can make a significant difference in the lives of their residents and visitors to the area with varying accessibility and mobility needs, enabling them to participate fully in leisure and social activities.

Care Spaces have worked closely with councils across the country assisting with project managing their Changing Places project to ensure the facility is practical, functional and to correct standards.

Learn more about Changing Places toilets

Successful Changing Places refurbishments for best use of funds

Care Spaces regularly take on the entire project build for clients and act as a consultant and advisor for planning, build and costing. For refurbishment projects, the extent of the project will depend on the build structure, space and access to and from the room.

When undertaking a specialised project such as delivering a Changing Places, the coordination of design to achieve compliance needs very careful attention. Below we share the main specifications where considerations need to be made to achieve a practical, useable space, with confidence that funds have been allocated wisely.

Room specification

To be registered as a compliant Changing Places facility, the room needs to be a minimum of 12m2. However, with refurbishment projects, it’s not uncommon to find that the space is an unconventional shape such as an L-shape or has a curved wall for example. This could mean that the usable space is less than 12m2.  By working with the client and The Changing Places Consortium directly, we find a resolution can normally be reached.

Rooms are often drawn with a specific ceiling height of 2400mm. However, given that one of the key pieces of equipment for a Changing Places install is a ceiling-mounted hoist, it is good practice to aim for a higher ceiling when possible, enabling your hoist system to lift higher. A ceiling height of 2500-2600mm is ideal as every extra inch the hoist can lift is a benefit to the users. And of course, in addition, the patient hoist will need to be designed with a room-covering track system. It is essential that this can work effectively with the room shape.

What size should a Changing Place facility be?

Changing Places specialist equipment

The Care Spaces team is exceptionally adept and knowledgeable with regards to specialist equipment, with over 20 years’ experience working with OT’s and healthcare workers on solutions for their clients in the community. Therefore, when we come to installing specialist equipment, we are mindful of the user requirements and suitable environment.

There are certain pieces of equipment that a registered Changing Place must incorporate but it is also the placement of equipment within the room that is very important. We must remember the needs of the persons using the equipment, and that the way they navigate through the space may differ from how an able-bodied user might do.

So what equipment is required?

You have Changing Places funding allocated, so what’s next?

Your specialist installer should initially carry out a comprehensive survey of the proposed refurbishment area at the Tender stage. Care Spaces find a pre-start meeting highly beneficial and we recommend implementing to ensure all parties are aligned to the programme. Included at the meeting should be your Architect, client, and any other required stake holders associated with the project.

The first phase would be to approach your architect to draw up plans to submit to Tender, these can then be presented to your chosen specialist installer. This will then lead to a proposed design that would need to be signed-off by MDUK. With MDUK approval, your project is ready to be delivered. Once complete, you must register the Changing Places facility so that it’s visible on the Changing Places map.

 

Changing Places toilet council funding

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