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Improving facilities for disabled patients

Changing Places

Changing Places

Captions: Changing Places 1: Gainsborough Wing staff (L – R) Sue Warner (background), Poppy Langley, Eleanor Reid, Janise Dimatulac and Lynda Kitching.

Changing Places 2: Gainsborough Wing staff (L – R) Lynda Kitching, Eleanor Reid, Sue Warner, Poppy Langley and Janise Dimatulac.

14 February 2018

Colchester Hospital is offering safe, comfortable facilities for people with profound learning and physical disabilities after installing a special type of toilet in its refurbished Gainsborough Wing.

The Changing Places toilet gives people with multiple physical and learning disabilities, such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis, the extra space and equipment they need to ensure their safety and comfort.

Available in the Gainsborough Wing and close to the new Outpatients Department (OPD), it includes a hoist, adult-sized changing table and shower, along with space for both the individual and their carer. It will be available 24 hours a day.

The toilet is the first at the Turner Road site and one of only a handful currently available across the town, and can be used by anyone with severe disabilities, including people who are in the area and not specifically visiting the hospital. It was installed as part of a multi-million pound refurbishment of the Gainsborough Wing, which has seen a new physio gym, neuro-rehab gym and OPD open, with a new £3m breast unit to follow later this year.

Lynda Kitching, matron for main outpatients, said: “We are really pleased that we’ve been able to open the hospital’s first Changing Places toilet in Gainsborough Wing. They are vitally important to thousands of people across the UK who are unable to use a standard accessible toilet, and provide much more space for individuals and their carers, as well as equipment to help them use the facilities safely, comfortably and with dignity.

“The Changing Places website lists all of the toilets which are currently available, which helps individuals to plan their journeys while offering reassurance that the right facilities will be available to meet their needs.”

For more information about Changing Places, visit www.changing-places.org