Implementing Changing Places sustains an outstanding facility

A college already rated ‘outstanding’ in its approach to social and educational inclusion has continued to exceed basic requirements, right through to its provision of personal hygiene facilities…

Harrow College, with help from the UK’s leading disabled toileting solutions provider Total Hygiene, has become the latest educational facility in the UK to install a ‘Changing Places’ toilet, part of the criteria under the new BS8300:2009 Accessible Building Design Code of Practice.

Within the student refectory area, to optimize accessibility, the ‘Changing Places’ toilet at Harrow not only includes a hoist, changing table, shower with shower seat, privacy screen and height adjustable wash basin which form basics of the Code specification, but goes beyond, also featuring a Closomat ‘wash and dry’ toilet, all supplied, installed and commissioned by Total Hygiene. The ‘Changing Places’ facility compliments Harrow College’s established commitment to disability equality, which has already resulted in it being rated ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED for its approach to social and educational inclusion.

Ian Kavanagh, facilities manager at the College, explained,

Our Occupational Therapist asked for a package of facilities to support current students – primarily a Closomat toilet, adjustable table and hoist. We researched for the best advice and guidance to meet that requirement, and as a result developed a partnership for the project with Total Hygiene. The company helped us create the most accessible facility possible within budget, that went beyond immediate needs and will provide the flexibility to accommodate most students’ requirements for the foreseeable future, so delivering ‘best practice’.

The ‘Changing Places’ concept has been pioneered by the Changing Places Changing Lives consortium, to provide combined toilet, shower and changing room for use by people with complex and multiple disabilities who require the help of up to two carers. Core requirements are for a minimum 12m2 room equipped with peninsular toilet, changing table, hoist, shower and seat, disposal bins, height adjustable wash basin and privacy screen. To date there are over 100 facilities across the UK, in locations ranging from colleges to leisure centres.

Total Hygiene is the consortium’s sole commercial partner, and in addition to being able to supply, install and commission the core Changing Places equipment, can provide additional aids to further extend inclusivity of the facility – such as the Closomat ‘wash and dry’ toilet and Aerolet toilet lift.

The Closomat is the only WC of its kind developed specifically for the disabled, and with WRAS approval to enable legal connection to the mains water supply. The unit looks like, and can function as, a conventional WC but includes integral douche and drier to eliminate the need for the user to wipe clean after toileting. The Aerolet toilet lift can be fitted over a conventional WC or Closomat, and replicates natural body motion, gently raising and lowering the user to position them accurately over the toilet as required whilst enabling the feet to remain in contact with the floor and maintaining the centre of gravity above the feet for balance. After toileting, the Lift can be raised by degrees to ease access for cleansing.

Total Hygiene is the UK’s biggest-selling manufacturer of toileting aids, with over 30,000 Closomats now installed throughout the country. The company has over 40 years’ experience restoring dignity and independence to disabled people in toileting, and is unique in its provision of a national design, installation and commissioning service, backed up with its own in-house team of dedicated service engineers. Full details of the products and services are available on the company’s website.