A Multiple Sclerosis support facility already acknowledged by its local health professionals as ‘a Centre of Excellence’ is taking a holistic approach to extensions to its services….

Lady in a wheelchair in the bathroom with the Closomat wash and dry toiletThe MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Support Centre in Saltney, near Chester, provides atherapy and support facility for people with all neurological conditions. To cope with increasing demand for its services, it has expanded into adjoining premises, and adapted them to address the needs of its 40 visitors a day- including provision of specialist toilet facilities.

The new toilet is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and features a Closomat ‘wash and dry’ toilet, with bespoke accessories of a 50mm plinth and touch-sensitive hand switch. The Closomat’s integral douche and drier mean that people with neurological conditions can toilet with little or no help, as it eliminates the need to wipe, or be wiped, clean after toileting. Inclusion of the plinth facilitates transfer for people in a wheelchair, and the touch sensitive switch enables those with reduced manual and/or body strength to operate the toilet without assistance.

Paul Etherington, who helps run the facility, observes, “We have six toilets at the Centre, but at busy times there could be queues, which is a particular challenge for people with neurological conditions as bladder and bowel function can be affected, so provision of enough, suitable toilets is a priority”.

“Some of our regular visitors have Closomats at home, and find them very helpful, giving them greater independence; the more we can offer people, the better, so we thought it would therefore be sensible to include one when we were adapting our new facilities. We chose the accessories to further optimise the number of people who could benefit from it. We now plan to install another one in the near future!”

The MS Support Centre aims to help people with a neurological condition and their carers optimise their sense of well-being and promote their independence and participation in community life. It has been described by Flintshire Health Board as a Centre of Excellence in its delivery of support to its members. Whilst it began life providing support for people with MS, it now accommodates other degenerative conditions.