Accessible Toilets

Changing Place – Porta-hoist-a-loo

While attending Naidex recently I made a massive discovery in my toilet fascinated world.

To learn more about Naidex and about all my other exciting Naidex finds you can read my full blog post here.

But for now let me fill you in on what I can only describe as one of my best bathroom experiences ever.

Within the main exhibition hall at The NEC Birmingham during the Naidex show I stumbled across a row of accessible porta loos. I’ve used many a porta loo in my time but never have I seen any like these.

Row of accessible porta loos

The first three of these accessible porta loos were large enough to accommodate my needs, roughly the size of most standard accessible toilets. There would be enough space for wheels and PA, however I doubt many would have enough turning space so would have to exit in reverse. Raised off the ground with a long gently angled non-slip ramp they are easy to access. The doors not light but swing very easily it shouldn’t be too much effort for somebody with some upper body strength.

Entrance to accessible porta loo via non-slip ramp

They had all your usual suspects, toilet, handrails, overhanging sink, bins (two, which is pretty good going for an accessible loo, they’re usually filled with bins!) and and a mirror. There was an emergency cord hanging freely however it wasn’t floor length as you can see from my photos. If someone had little movement they may not be able to reach up high enough to pull for help. The handrails were well situated for somebody to transfer or stand, there was space to transfer from the right hand side of the toilet, but not the left.

Good handrail positions. Emergency cord hanging short above one of the bins
 

Overall the best accessible porta loo I have ever come across.

Well that was until I saw the forth bathroom, which I have aptly named the porta-hoist-a-loo! In fact a Changing Place accessible porta loo.

Me exiting the Changing Place porta-hoist-a-loo

The largest porta loo and possibly the largest accessible loo of any kind I have come across. Big enough to swing a wheelchair! Plenty of turning space, room for at least two PAs. Kitted out with everything most people with disabilities would need, it had a hoist, height adjustable bed, raised toilet, full length mirror, workspace, two sinks (one overhanging, one built in) and plenty of bins! There was a sling however you were advised to use with risk, and preferably supply your own. I think most people that require one would rather use their own anyway, I would.

Spacious Changing Place porta loo
 

The emergency cord was hanging freely to the floor.

Full length mirror. Emergency cord hanging freely to the floor

The only downside with this porta-hoist-a-loo I would say was the decor. Looking a little tired and dated, one cupboard door was hanging off, it could do with freshening up with some new paint and maybe modernising the furniture. But this is such a small negative. Although it’s nice to feel glamorous while using the loo, it’s a start to actually find a brilliantly usable loo! So I’ll leave it there for now.
I see no reason why both these styles of toilets can’t be standard at all outdoor events where other toilets are supplied. I don’t see why this porta-hoist-a-loo can’t be placed more permanently in towns and cities where there isn’t a Changing Place within reasonable distance. Having a wee easily and conveniently can change somebody’s life more than most people realise.

Scores 

Changing Places 8/10

Space 9/10

Cleanliness 8/10

Decor 6/10

Safety 8/10

Practicality 9/10

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