Changing Place toilets
Standard accessible toilets meet the needs of some disabled people but not all. Over 250,000 people (1 in 260) in the UK need personal assistance to use the toilet or change continence pads, including people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, spinal injuries and people living with stroke.
This includes SEND children who may be using continence pads. The standard baby change table takes a maximum weight of 15 kgs or about the size and weight of a 2 year old child. Without upper body strength to sit on a toilet, disabled children will be unable to safely use them and manual handling above 18 kgs, puts a carer at risk of serious injury.
Without appropriate facilities, carers are forced to change continence pads on public toilet floors or wait till they get home. This is unhygienic, undignified and unhealthy it is also unacceptable.
CP toilets are larger facilities that have the right equipment, including a changing bench and a hoist, designed to support disabled people who need assistance.
A CP facility must include:
- Height adjustable, adult sized changing bench
- Ceiling track hoist system
- Adequate space for the disabled person and up to two assistants
- Centrally located toilet with space both sides for assistants
- Privacy screen
- Wide paper roll
- Large waste disposal bin
- Washbasin, preferably height adjustable
- Read Changing Places – The Practical Guide (PDF)
Watch Alison and her son Mylor explain what difference a changing place toilet makes to their visitor experience when they went to the National Space Centre in Leicester.
You can also read Alison’s blog post The Art of Incloosion
Most venues will be able to find space to install a Changing Places toilet and if you do please make sure make visitors to your website aware of this facility and add it to the Changing Places Consortium map
If you are unable to install this facility or whilst you wait for funding/planning to do so, check where your nearest CP loo is to your museum using the map above and signpost visitors to this on your website – brief front of house staff on its location too.
Also check out this advice from the Disability Collaborative Network for Museums (DCN)
The law changed in 2019 making the installation of Changing Places toilets in all new build museums compulsory. The government also released £30m funding in 2021 to local authorities to bid for a grant to install CP loos. This grant has now closed but CP loos are a capital investment high on the agenda of many major museum funders including National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.
These facilities inherently increase access for a great number of people who are currently excluded from accessing museums and cultural heritage, broadening your visitor profile and reach.
Here’s a list of some museums who have already installed CP loos and their websites, we recommend you contact some to talk through the process and ask questions about the day to day running of them. By being a location of a CP loo, your museum immediately makes your community accessible to the 1 in every 260 people who need these facilities. You instantly make a big positive impact on inclusion for a wide range of needs and boost the income potential of the businesses around you.
Here’s a list of some museums and galleries who have installed Changing Place toilets:
- Tate Modern
- Tate St Ives
- Tate Liverpool
- The Tower of London
- The Science Museum, London
- The Science and Industry Museum, Manchester
- National Science and Media Museum, Bradford
- Eureka Children’s Museum, Halifax
- Dorset Museum
- Royal Airforce Museum, London
- Leeds City Museum
- Yorkshire Sculpture Park
- The Hepworth, Wakefield
- Discovery Museum, Newcastle