Funding boost for Changing Places toilets
Patients with complex disabilities are set to benefit from improved, state of the art, toilet facilities in our hospital.
The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has received £60,000 in new funding from the government to build a new Changing Places facility, one of several areas across the country to do so. The hospital's My WiSH Charity have match-funded the project to make it possible.
Changing Places are toilets with additional equipment for people who are not able to use the toilet independently, including adult-sized changing benches and hoists. Disabled patients visiting the West Suffolk Hospital will now have access to these new, state of the art facilities.
Over £500,000 has been made available to 10 Trusts across England to start work on 16 new facilities, with a further £1.5 million made available to bid for.
Craig Black, executive director of resources at our Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant, and thank the Department of Health and Social Care for recognising how important it is to have easily-accessible toilet facilities for those that need it. We are honoured to be working alongside our friends at My WiSH Charity who are generously match-funding the figure.
“Patients with a wide range of both physical and mental disabilities will be able to benefit from this new space. It will allow them to use the toilet safely and comfortably while maintaining their dignity. We’re proud to continue improving our facilities for the local community.”
Sue Smith, head of fundraising at My WiSH Charity, added: “We are very proud to be supporting a Changing Places facility installation at the heart of the hospital. We have wanted to be able to provide this for a long time, and now with this extra funding we can.
“The remaining money needed to fund this vital project has come from a legacy that someone generously left to our hospital. We are so grateful to that family for making this possible, and to all our generous fundraisers.”
People with severe disabilities, such as those living with muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis, and their carers say Changing Places in public can be life changing and allow them to go out in public or attend hospital appointments without fear or stress.
Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said: “People with severe disabilities in West Suffolk deserve to live with dignity and independence, but lack of access to adequate toilet facilities can be a huge challenge. Hospitals, like all public spaces, have a duty to cater for people with disabilities – who risk discomfort, embarrassment and even injury without access to a Changing Place.
“This funding will make a real difference to thousands of people and their carers who use West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and I am delighted they can begin building work as soon as possible, with further funding still available.
“While today will help us to double the number of Changing Places in NHS Trusts, we still have far to go – I expect every hospital development to include a Changing Place facility in their future plans.”
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