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Changing Places Facility Opens

Changing Places facility has a hoist, adjustable toilet and privacy screen
The facility features a hoist, adjustable toilet and privacy screen

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT) is pleased to announce the opening of a new Changing Places toilet and change facility at Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

The facility, which was funded by charitable donations and officially opened by Edward Timpson, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, provides the additional equipment and space that some disabled people require in order to safely use public toilets and changing areas.

Phil Pordes, Dignity Matron at MCHFT, explains: “Changing Places facilities are different to standard disabled toilets as they have extra features and more space to meet the needs of those with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

“Standard accessible toilets tend not to provide things such as changing benches or hoists, and most are too small to accommodate a helper where they are needed.  Without Changing Places facilities, the person with the disability can be put at risk as their carers are often forced to change them in inappropriate places, which can be both undignified and challenging.  I am therefore thrilled that we’ve been able to bring these fantastic facilities here.”

Leighton Hospital is one of only a handful of hospitals in the country that currently has a Changing Places facility.  Located in the corridor linking the Main Entrance to the Outpatients Department, the unit includes the following facilities:

  • a height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench

  • a tracking hoist system

  • enough space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers

  • a centrally-placed toilet that is height-adjustable with room either side for carers

  • a height-adjustable sink

  • a screen to allow the disabled person and carer increased privacy

  • wide tear-off paper covers for the bench

  • a large waste bin for disposable pads

  • a non-slip floor.

The Changing Places facility has an adjustable sink and a large adult changing bench
The new facility also features an adjustable sink and a large adult changing bench.

Dennis Dunn, MCHFT Chairman, said: “I am delighted that this new facility is now officially open at Leighton Hospital as it will bring numerous benefits to our patients, their carers and visitors.

“The installation of this unit would not have been possible without the generous fundraising that we’ve received for this project. On behalf of the Trust I would like to thank everybody who has made this possible, especially Geraldine Greenall, Dr Adrian Heald and Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity. I would also like to extend my thanks to the children at Springfield School who have kindly donated some superb artwork that now brightens up the facility.”

Edward Timpson added: “I am very pleased to be able to open this facility, as providing these accessible toilets and changing areas in public places makes a huge difference to the lives of the thousands of people who desperately need them. This is why I have already supported a Changing Place toilet in Crewe town centre. Having another facility at our local hospital is a great achievement and benefit for the local community.”

For further information on Changing Places facilities, please visit www.changing-places.org.

Group of staff in the Changing Places facility
Edward Timpson MP is joined by fundraisers and staff in the new facility.