"A quarter of a million people require Changing Places toilets so it is important to ensure these essential facilities are accessible to everyone" Caroline Dinenage MP
Local MP and Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage, has announced that over 100 NHS hospitals will be able to build Changing Places facilities backed by a new £2 million Government fund.
Ministers will also launch a consultation next year on proposals that the essential facilities are included in all new large publicly-accessible buildings and significant redevelopments. Currently, building regulations guidance only goes so far as recommending Changing Places toilets are provided.
While the number of the facilities has increased from 140 in 2007 to more than 1,200 today, the Government is determined to go even further to improve disabled people's quality of life.
In Gosport new Changing Places facilities have been installed in the Discovery Centre with further facilities being planned for Lee on Solent Splash Park, Alver Valley Country Park, Gosport Bus Station Redevelopment and Gosport Leisure Centre.
Commenting, Caroline said:
"It is utterly shocking how few Changing Places toilets there are currently in NHS hospitals and other public spaces. People with disabilities and their carers rightly expect to find suitable facilities in a hospital of all places.
A quarter of a million disabled people need Changing Places and this investment will mean many more of them can access a toilet safely and comfortably. Whilst this is something most of us take for granted, access to spaces like these make a big difference to the lives of disabled people and their carers."