Calls for more Changing Places accessible toilets in Wales

A Changing Places registered toilet at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff

Most of us take for granted the ability to pop to the toilet whenever we need to.

But if you're disabled that can be made much more difficult, and if you have more complex needs, even more so.

Campaigners are calling for more "Changing Places" to be put in place.

Those are more spacious and allow for carers to be there too.

Damian Bridgeman says Changing Places facilities are a big help

Businessman and campaigner Damian Bridgeman travels regularly for his work.

But it's in Cardiff where he faces one of his biggest challenges - finding a suitable toilet.

He has cerebral palsy, and says only Changing Places are suitable.

It means I need to use facilities like this, with a hoist, and with a toilet that I can get around.

Because of my particular cerebral palsy, I need carers to help me change my incontinence product on the changing bench, which most disabled toilets haven't got.

If I couldn't use facilities like the facilities here in the museum, I wouldn't be able to go out, I wouldn't be able to feel confident.

– Damian Bridgeman
  • Hear from Damian in my report below:

Campaigners say many 'accessible' toilets simply aren't appropriate for people with disabilities and the people who help them.

There are currently 53 registered Changing Places toilets across the whole of Wales.

I think that is not enough for the people that need them.

People should be able to go out to their city centre, or into town with their friends, and know that they're able to access a toilet that adequately meets their needs.

– Clare Lucas, Muscular Dystrophy UK
The Changing Places rooms are larger and better adapted

What is classed as a Changing Places toilet?

  • The right equipment - including a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench and a tracking hoist system, or mobile hoist if this is not possible.
  • Enough space - including adequate room in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers
  • A centrally placed toilet with room either side, and a screen or curtain to allow some privacy.
  • A safe and clean environment, with a large waste bin and a non-slip floor

The Welsh Government's new Public Health Act wants all councils to have a 'toilet strategy'.

They have until next May to draw them up, including provision for more Changing Places.