Campaign News

MPs discuss improved accessible toilets

Oct 23, 2015

On Wednesday 21st October, MPs discussed the need for improved accessible toilets that catered to the needs of all groups who require additional facilities.

The Colostomy Association is committed to improving the quality of life of people living with a stoma across the UK. Many ostomates are forced to use facilities that are not suitable for them which can potentially cause embarrassment or accidents.

The requirements for a stoma-friendly loo are both simple and cost-effective. Our recommendations include a shelf for changing Ostomy supplies, a hook on the back of a door for hanging clothes and luggage as well as a sanitary bin in both male and female toilets for disposing of stoma supplies quickly and discreetly.

The Changing Places campaign aims to ensure that accessible toilets cover a wide range of conditions and disabilities that require additional facilities. Among their requirements are a shelf for changing supplies and a sanitary bin in all toilets.

Earlier this week, MPs discussed the need for improved accessible toilets for disabled and incontinent people in the UK. The debate was led by MP for Chesterfield, Toby Perkins who said: “This agenda is important not just because of human dignity but because of the huge strain that is put on the families of disabled older children and young adults. We should all be aware of the many challenges they face.”

“Families with incontinent children have to organise all family outings around being able to have access to a toilet every two hours or so. It is impossible to overestimate the extent to which consideration of access to toilets is a dominant factor for someone with an incontinent child or adult in their family unit. Before every outing, those families have to consider how long they will be able to go until they need to change their loved one, and what the facilities will be like when they are out.”

Additionally, Dr Philippa Whitford – MP for Central Ayrshire – raised the need of individuals with a stoma specifically: “I briefly mention that even ordinary toilets are under threat within local government areas. With an ageing population and more people with stomas and other problems of urinary or faecal support, I think the numbers that would be affected by high-quality toilets are even greater.”

Stoma-friendly toilet facilities are not only beneficial for the thousands of people living with an Ostomy across the country, but for the shops, stores, restaurants and leisure centres that implement them. With roughly 1 in 500 people living with a stoma in the UK, many businesses could benefit from the increased traffic and interest from ostomates who know a toilet matches their needs.

View the full debate online.

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