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 – three metres by four metres is the recommended minimum, with a ceiling height of at least 2.4 metres.

Equipment that should be included:

  • Changing bench, adult sized (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. Hoist should comply with BS EN ISO 10535.
  • Toilet 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.
  • Washbasin, which can be a standard model, or height adjustable. If it can’t be adjusted in height, it should be fitted at between 720 and 740 mm from the floor.
  • Curtain or screen to provide privacy for the user and carer(s).
  • 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 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 the over 1/4 of a million people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people.

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: http://www.changing-places.org or you can find the practical guide here.

You can find your nearest changing place or one whilst you travel on a map here.

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.

Find out how you can get a Radar key here