New ‘Changing Places’ facilities will transform hospital visits for disabled patients

A patient and her family were pleased to open a new hospital Changing Places facility as it will “transform the experience of coming to hospital for many disabled patients and their carers”.

Posted on in Announcements

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has worked closely with the Changing Places Consortium to create the new facilities at Lincoln and Boston hospitals. The consortium supports the rights of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and/or other physical disabilities. Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets for people who cannot use standard disabled toilets, with equipment such as hoists, privacy screens, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers.

Alisha Scowen, 19, recently joined ULHT Chief Executive Andrew Morgan to officially open the new Changing Places facility at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

Alisha was joined by her parents Helen and Tony, who have been working with the Trust to get the new facilities installed. Alisha has complex medical needs and is one of the 6,000 children born in the UK each year with a syndrome without a name (SWAN) – a genetic condition so rare that it is often impossible to diagnose.

Helen, who is an Advanced Clinical Practitioner with the Urgent Care Home Visiting Team at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, welcomed the changes. She said: “This exceeds anything I could have hoped for. Alisha has complex medical needs and for her and other disabled people who are unable to use standard disabled toilets this is going to make such a difference and will maintain their dignity.

“These new facilities will transform the experience of coming to hospital for many disabled patients and their carers’.”

Andrew said: “Thank you to Alisha and her family for all of their ongoing support. It is so important that we install these Changing Places facilities in our hospitals, but the additional help from Helen and Tony is invaluable in making sure that we get it right. I am so pleased that these are now open and in use at Pilgrim and Lincoln hospitals.”

The Changing Places facility at Boston can be found on the ground floor of the hospital, between the shop and the lift lobby. In Lincoln, it can be found to the side of the main hospital entrance café. The Trust will now liaise with the Changing Places Consortium to get both sites signed off and registered.

Helen added: “Thank you so much to the Trust for investing in these facilities.

The fact that they have been built and installed during a global pandemic is down to the hard work of everyone involved.”