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31
May

Capital funding for Changing Places facilities now available to the NHS


From June 1, 2019 NHS Trusts in England can bid for capital funding to install Changing Places toilet facilities in NHS acute hospitals. These facilities are larger than a standard disabled toilet and are fitted with the correct equipment, including a changing bench and a hoist, to support severely disabled people, or those with learning difficulties, who need assistance.

 

In December 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced a £2 million fund would be made available to install over 100 Changing Places washrooms in NHS hospitals throughout England. 

 

The DHSC estimates that although there are over 1,200 registered Changing Places toilets in the UK, the provision on the NHS estate in England is limited to between 30 and 40 locations. 

 

Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage, says: “It is utterly shocking how few Changing Places toilets there are currently in NHS hospitals and other public spaces. People with disabilities and their carers rightly expect to find suitable facilities in a hospital of all places.”

 

The average cost of installing Changing Places in hospitals is thought to be between £25,000 and £35,000. The funding announced today is intended to improve provision of Changing Places on the NHS estate over the next two years (2019-2021). 

 

All funding awarded must be drawn and expended by March 31, 2021. The expectation of bids for funding from this award is that they will be matched on a one-to-one basis from local funds.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is also consulting on whether Building Regulations should be updated to make Changing Places facilities mandatory in some large public buildings, including hospitals. 

 

 

Full information including how to apply for funding and the requirements of a Changing Places washroom is available here.

 

The Changing Places website is also full of useful information, including advice for sites planning, designing and equipping new facilities.

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