Disabled people in Lincolnshire to benefit from £97k boost for changing places toilets

Severely disabled people in Lincolnshire will benefit from improved, state of the art, toilet facilities equipped with extra equipment such as hoists

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been awarded £97,000 to build three Changing Place facilities across three sites

The Trust is one of 10 receiving a share of over £500,000 today, with more available to bid for.

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Severely disabled people in Lincolnshire will benefit from improved, state of the art, toilet facilities equipped with extra equipment such as hoists

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been awarded £97,000 to build three Changing Place facilities across three sites

The Trust is one of 10 receiving a share of over £500,000 today, with more available to bid for.

Patients with disabilities in Lincolnshire are set to benefit from improved, state of the art, toilet facilities in their local hospitals, the Government has announced today.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has received £97,000 in new funding to build three Changing Place facilities, one of several areas across the country to do so.

Changing Places are toilets with additional equipment for people who are not able to use the toilet independently, including adult-sized changing benches and hoists. Disabled patients visiting the Grantham and District Hospital, Lincoln County Hospital and Pilgrim Hospital in Boston will now have access to these new, state of the art facilities.

Over £500,000 has been made available to 10 Trusts across England today to start work on 16 new facilities, with a further £1.5 million made available to bid for.

There are currently only around 40 of these facilities on the NHS England estate. With this tranche of funding, it is expected that the total number of Changing Places in hospitals will eventually increase to over 100.

Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said:

“People in Lincolnshire with severe disabilities deserve to live with dignity and independence, but lack of access to adequate toilet facilities can be a huge challenge. Hospitals, like all public spaces, have a duty to cater for people with disabilities – who risk discomfort, embarrassment and even injury without access to a Changing Place.

“This funding will make a real difference to thousands of people and their carers who use the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and I am delighted they can begin building work as soon as possible, with further funding still available.

“While today will help us to double the number of Changing Places in NHS Trusts, we still have far to go – I expect every hospital development to include a Changing Place facility in their future plans.”

Deputy Chief Nurse at ULHT, Jennie Negus, said:

“We are absolutely delighted and grateful to have received this funding to develop Changing Places facilities on each of our hospital sites, something we have long wished to do.

“We recognise just how difficult it is for people with significant disabilities such as profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy to use standard accessible toilets and we know developing these will make a huge difference to them when they visit our sites. Our patients and carers will be equally delighted to hear this news.”

People with severe disabilities, such as those living with muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis, and their carers say Changing Places in public can be life changing and allow them to go out in public or attend hospital appointments without fear or stress.

In the absence of Changing Places facilities, disabled people and/or carers face:

  • Limiting what they drink to avoid needing the toilet when they are out – risking dehydration and urinary tract infections;
  • Sitting in soiled clothing or dirty nappies until a suitable toilet is found or they return home;
  • Having to change a loved one on a dirty toilet floor;
  • Manually lifting someone out of their wheelchair – risking safety; and
  • Reducing their time out of the house – restricting their social lives.

Catherine Woodhead, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK and Co-chair of the Changing Places Consortium, said:

“When a hospital doesn’t have a Changing Places toilet, disabled people may struggle to attend important medical appointments or visit family and friends. This is unacceptable, and not only puts their health at risk but can leave them isolated.

“We’re pleased that eleven hospital trusts have successfully applied for funding to install Changing Places toilets, but more need to follow their example. We strongly encourage all those who haven’t already done so to commit to being more inclusive and apply for a share of the DHSC’s funding.”

The announcement forms part of cross government work to improve accessibility. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government consulted last year on proposals that would add Changing Places toilets to more than 150 new buildings a year, including shopping centres, supermarkets, cinemas, stadiums and arts venues.

The proposals would add the facilities to specific new, large buildings commonly used by the public, as well as those undergoing building works. The consultation closed in July and the department intends to respond in Spring this year.

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Notes to editors:

  • The Trusts receiving funding today are:

o   Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust                      £105,000

o   University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust      £51,000

o   Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust                   £34,000

o   Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust      £35,000

o   Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust           £40,000

o   Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust                                            £35,000

o   United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust                         £97,000

o   West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust                                  £60,000

o   Lancashire Teaching Hospitals                                          £50,000

o   Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust             £17,000

  • Trusts can bid for the funding by applying here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changing-places-toilets-in-nhs-hospitals-apply-for-funding
  • The cost to install a Changing Places facility in a hospital is usually between £27,000 and £35,000.
  • The £2 million funding is allocated on the principles of matched funding, with Trusts contributing to the cost.
  • More than a quarter of a million people in the UK need Changing Places toilets. Users include people with severe and multiple learning disabilities and people with a range of other disabilities including muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, some older people and other specific disabilities.
  • Changing Places are specifically designed to accommodate adults whose needs are not met by standard accessible toilets. These facilities are large accessible spaces with adult-length padded and height adjustable changing tables, hoists, peninsular WCs (further removed from the wall and with space at the sides) and showers.
  • The number of Changing Places in public spaces in England has increased from 140 in 2007 to more than 1,400 today.
  • For more information or to bid for a minister or case study, please speak to cavan.griffin@dhsc.gov.uk or sarah.wilson@dhsc.gov.uk