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Changing Places are designed so that they are completely accessible and provide sufficient space and equipment for people who are not able to use the toilet independently

Changing PlacesRadar National Key Scheme

Changing Places

Changing Places are designed so that they are completely accessible and provide sufficient space and equipment for people who are not able to use the toilet independently. They must be an extra facility, in addition to the accessible toilets for independent use.

There must be adequate space in a changing place – 3 metres by 4 metres is the recommended minimum, with a ceiling height of at least 2.4 metres.

Equipment that should be included:

  • an adult-sized changing bench – minimum 1800 mm long by 800 mm wide. This should be height adjustable and can either be freestanding or wall-mounted
  • hoist providing access between changing bench, basin and toilet. Ideally, ceiling or wall mounted, but a mobile hoist is acceptable if a track-mounted lifter is not possible – the hoist should comply with BS EN ISO 10535.
  • a toilet which must be a peninsular installation, with at least one metre of clear space on each side. It can be an automatic wash and dry toilet or a standard manual one, and in either case, the seat height should be 480 mm
  • a washbasin, which can be a standard model, or height adjustable. If its not height adjustable, it should be fitted at between 720 and 740 mm from the floor
  • curtain or screen to provide privacy for the user and carers
  • non-slip flooring
  • wide tear-off paper roll in a dispenser close to the changing bench
  • large waste bin for disposing of pads

These features are to be included with those of a standard accessible toilet:

  • grab rails where appropriate to provide the necessary support
  • emergency alarm to summon help if necessary – make sure that the red cord always hangs loose so that it can be used immediately

The Changing Places Consortium launched its campaign in 2006 on behalf of over 1/4 of a million people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. This includes older people and people with

  • profound and multiple learning disabilities
  • motor neurone disease
  • multiple sclerosis
  • cerebral palsy

To use the toilet in safety and comfort, many people need to be able to access a Changing Places. These have more space and the right equipment, including a height-adjustable changing bench and a hoist.

For questions about England, Wales and Northern Ireland email changingplaces@musculardystrophyuk.org.

For more information about changing places or help and support in installing one, please contact Changing Places or you can find the practical guide on their website.

You can find your nearest changing place or one whilst you travel using this interactive map.

Radar National Key Scheme

The RADAR National Key Scheme (NKS) provides special keys for registered disabled people to access locked public toilets around the UK.

You can find more information about RADAR keys on the Motability website. You can buy one online.

Last reviewed: May 15, 2024 by Neil

Next review due: November 15, 2024

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