Delivery of ‘best value’ is being given a new approach- at least as far as sanitary requirements are concerned.
Under current Building Regulations, and best practice guidance (British Standards), if space is a limiting factor in toilet provision, the acceptable ‘catch-all’ is to install a unisex, wheelchair-accessible toilet, to be available for use by anyone visiting the premises.
Closomat, Britain’s #1 provider of helpful toilet solutions for anyone with a limitation, is urging providers to go a stage further, and include therein a little more space, a hoist and adult-sized changing bench. It delivers, the company maintains, best value in terms of space management, cost, and customer service.
“Even a unisex wheelchair-accessible toilet is a compromise,” explains Closomat away from home project manager Kelvin Grimes. “Many wheelchair users have, and need a carer to help them. Many need lifting, and are too big for their carer to lift unaided. Figures suggest at least 0.5million adults have faecal incontinence, a proportion of which will require pads, nappies, changing.
“Adding a hoist to a unisex wheelchair accessible toilet takes no extra space, but opens the doors to large numbers of people who would otherwise stay away- or at home- in case they needed the toilet. The changing bench does need more space, but its requirement is still significantly less than providing all the individual toilet permutations.
“Combined, you provide a WC facility that needs the needs of most- certainly more than the Regulatory, supposedly universal solution. And from experience, many unisex wheelchair-accessible toilets, that are provided as the only ‘public’ WC, often have the additional space inside anyway, so for those, it is just a case of a little more kit, that makes the facility useable by many more people, who will potentially visit with their carers, families.”