Unusually, this case study refers to a project that took place over the course of several years. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Bath NHS Foundation Trust had expressed a desire to install a Changing Places toilet at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. Care Spaces had worked with the trust to find a suitable space to install this facility. Initially, we identified an external courtyard area where a modular unit could be installed, and we provided quotations to this effect.

While the pandemic hit, plans for the Changing Places toilet were put on hold. However, once the world returned to normal, the trust identified an existing, unused toilet that could potentially be a Changing Places. Care Spaces were asked to determine if it was possible to utilise this space, and if so, could we then design a Changing Place to meet the necessary standards (BS8300) and the Trust’s budget.

One of the biggest challenges was access inside the facility. All Changing Places must have an outward-opening door so that it doesn’t impede wheelchair uses from exiting the toilet and maintains sufficient space for manoeuvring inside. However, the existing design of the door meant that it opened outwards into a corridor. Care Spaces redesigned the door opening so that it was still easy to operate, but didn’t protrude into the corridor.

Changing Places toilet facility

When designing the Changing Places toilet, we also had to ensure that the new facility adhered to the Trust’s unique Water Safety Plan (WSP). After undertaking site surveys, we were able to submit a proposal to MDUK (the governing body in charge of approving Changing Places) which was then approved.

Key features of the build included:

  • Hygienic cladding
  • New suspended ceilings
  • Passive, infra-red sensor lighting control
  • Non-slip flooring

After having the plans approved, we then received instruction to go ahead with the development. Care Spaces worked alongside the appointed NHS project manager to install, commission and test all of the core equipment. We have subsequently returned to the Changing Place to train the facilities management team on best practice use and maintenance of the equipment.

This Changing Places will soon to be registered and visible on the National Map.