Queen’s Hospital Burton has today become the first hospital in the region to open a Changing Places washroom for disabled patients.
The state-of-the-art facility provides extra equipment and much more space than a standard disabled toilet to help aid people visiting the hospital to use the toilet safely and comfortably.
In addition to providing a changing area with space for one person and up to two carers, the room has a hoist system and a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench, so that visitors don’t have to change their loved ones on the floor.
There are currently only 58 Changing Places toilets in hospitals across the whole UK, with Lichfield campaigner Tony Clough, whose sister Julie has cerebral palsy, insisting the facility will benefit a lot of families in the area.
He said: “Disabled people are often more likely to attend hospital, so it absolutely makes sense for all hospitals to have Changing Places facilities. Standard disabled toilets just aren’t sufficient for some people with a disability and nobody wants to have to change one of their loved ones on a toilet floor. Changing Places toilets provide much-needed assistance and, more importantly, help protect people’s dignity. A lot of us toilet facilities for granted but these rooms can literally be life-changing for a lot of people, so I’m really grateful to UHDB and Derby & Burton Hospitals Charity for recognising this is an important issue.”
The brand new Changing Places washroom can be used by people of all ages with multiple learning difficulties and physical disabilities and can be found on the ground floor of Queen’s Hospital, outside the CT and MRI Scanning department.
Gavin Boyle, Chief Executive, said: “Providing this easily-accessible facility will make a massive difference to a lot of people visiting our hospital in Burton. If you’re attending hospital, whether as a patient or with a loved one, the last thing you should have to worry about is being able to find appropriate toilet facilities. Having a Changes Places room will allow us to go some way to improving the hospital experience of those who cannot use standard accessible toilets, so we’re absolutely delighted to be able to offer this state-of-the-art facility on site.”
UHDB has been able to provide the new facility on site, thanks to donations raised through Derby & Burton Hospitals Charity.
Chris Maddox, Community and Corporate Partnerships Manager for the Charity, said: "Derby & Burton Hospitals Charity are thrilled to fund this Changing Places facility at Queen's Hospital, which will make an enormous difference to our visitors and patients. Enhanced facilities such as this are only made possible due to the kind, generous donations we receive into the charity from local people and businesses. We would encourage anyone that would like to support their local hospitals, enabling us to make a difference, to email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01332 785731."