Quay to independence for all…

One of the largest shopping centres in the UK is ensuring its doors are truly open to all after investing in a state-of-theart toilet and changing facility.

West Quay, in Southampton, has opened a ‘Changing places’ facility, to enhance the existing seven disabled toilets it provides – illustrating its commitment to offering the best facilities practical for customers.

Co-funded by West Quay and Southampton City Council, the Changing places toilet offers equipment beyond a standard disabled toilet, enabling anyone requiring the aid of at least one carer to undertake basic personal hygiene when ‘out and about’. In addition to grab rails conventionally found in disabled toilets, the ‘Changing places’ toilet is larger, and features as standard:

  • height adjustable changing table
  • height adjustable basin
  • privacy screen
  • hoist

The ‘Changing Places Changing Lives’ campaign aims to promote the need for such facilities in all large public buildings.To date, over 200 ‘Changing places’ facilities have already been installed across the UK.

West Quay’s facilities management team worked closely with specialist disabled toileting solutions provider Total Hygiene, the campaign’s sponsor, to ensure the new washroom, on Podium Level 3, optimised accessibility. As a result, in addition to the core equipment required for designation as a ‘Changing places’ toilet, West Quay’s unit also includes a Closomat ‘wash and dry’ toilet instead of a traditional WC, meaning anyone with issues of manual dexterity or balance can toilet without having to be wiped clean by their carer, enhancing hygiene and dignity.

Nicky Hopper, marketing communications manager at West Quay, explained,

It is important to us that we are providing the best facilities we can for our customers; the ‘Changing places’ toilet not only meets latest ‘good practice’ guidelines under accessible building design, but it is likely to soon be a legal requirement. We already have award-winning toilet facilities, and want to ensure that this high standard continues, for all.