What is a Changing Places Toilet (CPT)?

A Changing Places Toilet is designed specifically for people who cannot use a standard accessible toilet. It provides more space (minimum of 12m²) in order to accommodate extra specialised equipment (including an adult-sized changing bench and hoist) and up to two carers, to provide assistance when necessary.

Image showing a purple Changing Places facility with a Closomat Wash and dry toilet.

The Changing Places Toilet concept was designed by healthcare professionals based out of Dundee University in the early 2000s, with an ambition to provide a network of accessible WCs for disabled people and their carers, to help them participate in wider society.

How it started…

In the early days (2007), Closomat supported the campaign to help it gain momentum – we even assisted in writing the first draft of the original Changing Places Specification.

And although the specification has seen some amendments over the past 17 years, the core principles of the document remain the same; to provide a safe, spacious environment for disabled people and their carers to toilet/change, whilst ‘out and about’.

How it’s going…

There are now over 2000 Changing Places Toilets installed in a variety of different venues across the length and breadth of the UK… Some types of venues lend themselves to the installation of a CPT more than others, especially when the physical building might be listed or have restrictions placed on it by the Local Authority – but even then, making use of pod-style Changing Places Toilets can be the answer.

However you choose to fulfil your commitment to the UK’s disability community, ask an expert like Closomat, for the very best advice.

Fit for purpose?

Safety must always be the priority when installing a CPT – especially since they are installed in public, multi-user environments.

When the original standards were written, specific rules were established to provide appropriate equipment, to accommodate the majority of potential users and to provide the safest possible solutions.

Now, as the number of CPTs increase, and in turn the number of suppliers of Changing Places Toilets grow, there have been reports that not all finished installations meet the required standards. This can unfortunately lead to some users arriving at a facility to find it is not actually accessible to them, either through ill-thought-out layouts, incorrect equipment, or worse, broken equipment.

Cost effective?

Everyone of course wants to get value for money, especially in today’s climate. But buying cheaper equipment that doesn’t fulfil the needs of those who rely on CPTs, ultimately puts both the user and the venue at risk.