Changing places at International Gateway

Commitment to improving customer journeys is being taken ‘above and beyond’ at East Midlands Airport, with a complete refurbishment of its Changing Places toilet.

The airport is now one of just a handful of Britain’s 60 airports that is as accessible to all as possible, with the upgrading of its Changing Places toilet for people who need the help of a carer for personal hygiene.

The purpose-built facility gives more space- 12m2- than a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet, to accommodate the user and their carer, and has additional equipment, including a hoist and mobile, adult-sized changing bench, supplied and installed by Clos-o-Mat, the country’s top provider of specialist toilet facilities for the disabled and elderly.

Mark Nayler, lead designer at East Midlands Airport, explained:

“We were the first British airport to open a Changing Places toilet, in 2011; and now, as we have embarked on a £12million redevelopment of the terminal building, we have chosen to make the facility even better, whilst improving the level of customer service that we offer. We have changed our wall-mounted changing bench for a mobile one to enable users to place it where most convenient for them, and put in an H frame hoist to optimise manoeuvrability around the room.”

A Changing Places toilet is now ‘good practice’ under BS8300:2009, and ’desirable’ under Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013, for all new build and refurbishment projects involving buildings to which numbers of the public have access. Further, under the Equality Act, which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act, service providers are required to make reasonable changes- including to the built environment- where a disabled customer or potential customer would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage. So far, over 600 have been opened at venues across the country.

Clos-o-Mat is the biggest provider of such toilets, and their counterpart hygiene rooms. The company is unique in being able to offer, in-house, design advice, supply, install, commissioning and ongoing service/maintenance, backed up by in-house project management of a Changing Places toilet or hygiene room. Clos-o-Mat has used its expertise in the field to produce a white paper on Changing Places toilet provision in general, and specifically the transport sector, both of which are available for download- alongside technical specifications, typical layouts and 2D and 3D CAD drawings- on its website