Posted on Tuesday 27 April 2021
Grace Spence Green at the new Changing Places toilet in St Thomas' Hospital
St Thomas’ Hospital has installed a new, fully accessible Changing Places toilet for patients, staff and visitors.
The Changing Places toilet is specially equipped to ensure people with significant learning and physical disabilities and their carers can use it safely and with dignity.
This room offers more than standard accessible toilets including a height-adjustable toilet, sink and adult-sized changing bench; a hoist; and shower. It is big enough for two carers and a person to use comfortably.
It is the second Changing Places toilet installed at Guy’s and St Thomas’, after one was opened at Guy’s Hospital in 2019.
Manal Sadik, associate director for equality, diversity and inclusion at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “I am extremely proud that the trust recognises the significance of Changing Places facilities and the positive impact this has on maintaining people’s dignity whilst visiting our hospitals.
“We now have two fully equipped Changing Places toilets which is a great achievement, and I hope will make visiting our hospitals a more inclusive and respectful experience for all our patients, carers and staff.”
Grace Spence Green is a medical student at King’s College London, currently on placement at Evelina London Children’s Hospital – which is part of Guy’s and St Thomas’.
Grace, who uses a wheelchair, said: “Access to safe and suitable bathrooms is a human right, so it’s a fantastic step to now have a Changing Places toilet at St Thomas’ Hospital.”
There are more than a quarter of a million people across the UK who depend on Changing Places toilets, including people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.
Since the Changing Places Consortium was established in 2005, it has campaigned for toilets to be installed in all large public spaces to help people with severe disabilities access their community.
Muscular Dystrophy UK, the charity for 70,000 people living with muscle-wasting conditions, have been co-chairs of the Changing Places Consortium since 2017.
Robert Burley, director of campaigns, care and services at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “We are delighted that St Thomas’ Hospital has opened a Changing Places toilet today, which will make a world of difference for the many patients, visitors, and staff who rely on them. Everyone has the right to use a toilet with safety and dignity, and Muscular Dystrophy UK encourages more trusts to install Changing Places toilets in hospitals to ensure that this is possible.”
The new facility is on the ground floor of St Thomas’ Hospital, near the main entrance, and is open to patients 24 hours a day.
Visit the Changing Places website for more information.