I recently shared yet another petition to get Changing Places toilets to be more than a mere recommendation in the building standards, and it led me to look back at the most recent government response to this issue.
“The Government recognises that “Changing Places” toilets play an important role to support the day to day life for many disabled people, their family and carers. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has worked alongside local and national campaigners in partnership with business and local councils, to promote provision of these facilities, which have increased in number from 140 in 2007 to 918 now, but we recognise we need to do more.
Current guidance in Part M (Access to and use of buildings) of the Building Regulations refers directly to “Changing Places” and the British Standard BS8300 (Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people). Both advise that these facilities should be considered in large buildings and complexes, but it is not stated as a requirement. The British Standard recommends how to create an enlarged “Changing Places” cubicle in a separate-sex toilet washroom with additional functionality.
The Government has commissioned research to evaluate how well the current guidance in Approved Document M is working in meeting the needs of disabled people, including consideration of toilet provision. Once we have the results of this research we will decide if changes are needed to the current requirements of the Building Regulations.
Department for Communities and Local Government”
Is it not enough to know that people are avoiding going out?
Is it not enough to know that people are self-medicating?
Is it not enough to know that there are towns without facilities?
Is it not enough to know that nobody should be petitioning for dignity?
Is it not enough to see even one photo of a person lying on a toilet floor?
What research is needed to decide if changes are required???
I am beyond horrified at this government response to a petition which reasonably requests that ALL disabled people be included in law.
Because, right now, people who cannot self transfer are entirely excluded from any legal protection to access toilet facilities. People who cannot use a toilet so need to have pads changed are excluded.
Document M is NOT WORKING AT ALL for the people it ignores!
And it ignores hundreds of thousands of people, including this one, my son.
Please contact your MP to ask them exactly how much research needs to be done to identify whether or not it is okay to have people being laid on toilet floors, self medicating, withholding fluids or becoming housebound just because the current law ignores them.
Changing Places toilets don’t just “play an important role to support the day to day life for many disabled people” they actually make every day life possible!
Would you visit an attraction for a day if there were no toilet facilities? Would you go out for a meal if there were no toilet facilities in the entire town? How far from home would you want to travel if you depended on Changing Places toilets for your dignity and safety?
If you don’t know what to say to your MP, just send them this post and ask them to explain how changes to the building standards can be anything other than long overdue.
Be better than our government. Do something!