The government have announced a consultation which will go ahead this year to examine proposals which will make it mandatory for newly build shopping centres, stadia, and theme parks to include Changing Places.
Announced by Conservative MP Rishi Sunak on Christmas Eve, the proposal will ensure all newly built public buildings will include vital facilities to ensure disabled people can comfortably and safely use the facilities. Current building regulations only recommend the inclusion of Changing Places.
Sunak said: “Changing Places toilets make a huge difference to the lives of severely disabled people. I want to see these facilities included as standard in new large buildings like shopping centres and cinemas, so more disabled people can be assured peace of mind and dignity when they are away from home.
“The government will consult in the New Year on how best to do this, including changing building regulations if required, if it means more disabled people can get access the essential services they deserve.”
It was also announced that the Department of Health and Social Care has provided £2 million to install over 100 new Changing Places in NHS hospitals around England. Currently, there are under 40 Changing Places in NHS England facilities.
Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said: “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.
“A quarter of a million disabled people need Changing Places and this investment will mean many more of them can access a toilet safely and comfortably. Whilst this is something most of us take for granted, access to spaces like these make a big difference to the lives of disabled people and their carers.”Get your copy of UNITE Magazine