The Changing Places toilet campaign calls for government to change building and planning regulations to ensure that Changing Places toilet facilities are provided in all large public buildings (including hospitals) as they are built, redeveloped, or refurbished. From June 2019 NHS acute hospital trusts in England can apply for Changing Places funding to install Changing Places toilet facilities.

When the Project Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital got in touch with Care Spaces to discuss the requirement for a Changing Place facility, he already had a space within the building in mind. Unsure if it would work, he contacted Care Spaces to find out the viability of the space and to ask us to design a compliant Changing Place.

Unfortunately, the original space the Project Manager had in mind was too small. At his suggestion, we located a room two doors further up the corridor that was suitable for the Changing Places install, and we put together a proposed layout for this space that was approved by the Project Manager and Changing Places UK.

There was some initial building work required before we could move onto installation. This was put out to tender by the hospital and we met with the appointed contractor to go through the design specifications and requirements before work began.

Tapping into the 21st century

The client wanted the Changing Place to be fitted with a specific, hands-free tap which meant that we had to make a change to our initial proposal. It also posed a challenge. The tap is completely digital and controlled by an iPad and comes with additional equipment including a control box and water blender which had to be fitted into the basin mount. Working with our installation team, we worked out a way to house all the additional controls in the cabinet below the basin, ensuring that the basin still moved up and down without interfering with the electronics.

Drainage was also an issue in the existing space, which had to be reconfigured for the new drainage positions. A false wall was created at the rear of the room which hid all of the new drainage runs and provided a useful space for the new pipework and electrical supplies.

Overcoming fire and water issues

The ceiling level of the identified space had to be raised to ensure the new Changing Place would be compliant. However, this came with its own challenges. Raising the ceiling height meant that the fire and sprinkler system also had to be altered and re-tested for efficiency. Fire protection also had to be added since the build required the demolition of an intermediate wall.

A great user experience

The client wanted the new Changing Place to be welcoming and comfortable as well as functional. With this in mind, sky ceiling LED panels were added to brighten up the outlook above the changing bench and provide a focal point for users. A mural wall was also added at one end of the room, which was designed by patients within the hospital and was a unique and welcome addition to the space.

The installation took place over two days and at the time of writing, the new Birmingham Children’s Hospital Changing Place was in the process of being registered on the National Map. The whole project took around 6 weeks to deliver.

Do you need help to deliver your Changing Places Project? Drop us a line on 01634 949988 or share your project with us.