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Direct Access responds to Government consultation on Changing Places.

The UK Government is, until 21 July, consulting on the legislative requirements for increasing the provision of Changing Places facilities. This is focused on large new builds and premises due to undergo refurbishment that are accessed by the public.

Changing Places facilities are larger than a standard accessible toilet. They feature equipment such as a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist which are crucial for those that require assistance with accessing toilet facilities. People who benefit include profound and multiple learning disabilities, muscle-wasting conditions, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.

At present the British Standards BS 8300-2:2018 Design of an accessible and inclusive built environment code of practice provides advisory information on the design and layout of facilities. The Government is considering making provision mandatory through changes to Part M of Building Regulations as already done in Scotland.

Direct Access has responded formally to the consultation drawing on our experience of working with retail, transportation and local authorities to identify suitable locations and design for Changing Places facilities. Examples can be found at Cheshire Oaks and Birmingham International.

Our response has been to support the proposed changes to Part M. We have proposed adding further detail to the specification to increase clarity on best practice and increasing the scope of locations that must include a Changing Places facility.

If you would like to contribute to the consultation: link

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