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Quay to Independence for All ........

05 November 2010

One of the largest shopping centres in the UK is ensuring its doors are truly open to all after investing in a state-of-the- art toilet and changing facility….. West Quay, in Southampton, has opened a ‘Changing places’ facility, to enhance the existing seven disabled toilets it provides- illustrtaing 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 and a 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 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 Clos-o-Mat ‘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.”
Robin Tuffley, Total Hygiene marketing manager, said “There are 10million registered disabled people in the UK, and 1.2m wheelchair users in England alone. We all visit the toilet on average eight times a day, yet research shows that people make a conscious decision NOT to visit somewhere if they feel they cannot ‘go to the loo’ in clean and appropriate facilities. It is great to see West Quay supporting an accessible society.”

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