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  • Changing places help create ‘world class’ travel hub

    Network Rail is putting disabled travellers’ needs at the centre of a £multi-million project to transform Welsh railway and make it a ‘world-class’ facility.Port Talbot Station

    The transformation of Port Talbot Parkway, is progressing, with some amenities already improved, under the £11.4m regeneration by Network Rail as part of the Wales Station Improvement Scheme. Latest to be unveiled are a new information hub, bridge, an updated waiting room and new toilets with baby changing facilities and disabled access.

    Disabled facilities now also incorporate a Changing Places toilet, conveniently located on Platform 1 alongside the waiting room. The toilet is accessed via a RADAR key, and open seven days a week and Bank Holidays.

    Network Rail’s Hannah McCarthy explained, “The new station has been designed to be as accessible as possible for all travellers, and help transform Welsh railway into a world-class travel network. Port Talbot Parkway features a full range of modern toilets, including conventional accessible, male and female toilets alongside the Changing Places. And to provide as full a range of toilet facilities as possible, we incorporated the Clos-o-Mat.”

  • Go to the loo to increase visitor numbers

    Cadbury WorldVenues can increase their share of a £multi-million market by making the toilets more accessible.

    So claims new research, reinforcing a theory presented by the market leader in toilet assistive technology at home and away, Clos-o-Mat. The research, undertaken by Disabled Access Day with Euans Guide, highlighted that having an accessible toilet was the second highest influencing factor for respondents, with 80% of those surveyed listing it as important.

    “We go to the toilet on average eight times a day, so the chances are if you’re visiting somewhere away from home- whether a simple trip to the shops or a day out- you will need to make use of washroom facilities,” explains Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat Marketing Manager. “Research also shows that for the 1/4million+ people who need the help of a carer, or many of the 6million people with bowel issues- conventional accessible toilets are not appropriate. They need extra space, and/or equipment. They represent a significant number of the 11million people registered disabled in the UK, who spend over £200billion a year!

    “So there is strong justification for making the capital investment in appropriate toilet facilities: sometimes just adding a hoist, adult changing bench or wash & dry toilet makes the difference, but in an ideal world, a fully-equipped Changing Places assisted accessible toilet would be desirable, as per current Building Regulations.”

  • Go to the loo to get back independence

    Neil McCarthyMore than 100,000 people in Britain currently are amputees. The majority of limb loss is through diabetes, with new research showing that figure is now at record levels: 135 each week!

    An innovative aid is helping many regain independence, and dignity- in the toilet.

    The Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita wash & dry toilet, and Aerolet toilet lift, can be used together, or independently, to help amputees go to the toilet without reliance on a carer for support or cleanliness.

    “Home assessments can sometimes overlook this very personal daily function,” explains Ray Edwards MBE, founder of leading amputation charity Limbcare ( “Or there is an assumption that if someone is around, be it a family member or care worker, they will help. Unless you have lost a limb, you don’t fully appreciate how much having to rely on someone help you go to the loo impacts on your self-worth, your dignity and independence.”

    Former physiotherapist Neil McCarthy, who had a leg amputated as a result of diabetes, and has a Clos-o-Mat with optional arm supports, reinforces Ray’s point. He says, “It has given me back my independence. However much you love someone, it’s not nice having to take them to the toilet and clean them afterwards. Before, if I had tried to ‘go’ on my own, I would have fallen off the toilet when I tried to clean myself. The Clos-o-Mat cleans me, and the arms mean I have additional support if I need it.”

    Details of all the products, options, plus further case studies from real-life users, can be found here.

  • 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.

    East Midlands Airport

    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.

    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.”


  • Give someone a lift- and save money

    AeroletCare providers can help people remain independent, with less help, whilst releasing care staff to help other clients- and save money.

    Numerous recent studies have shown good specification and selection of assistive technology delivers best value. One of the most common care requirements is toileting- simply to get on and off the WC. But it exposes the client and carer to risk- handling strain and falls.

    “An Aerolet toilet lifter addresses all those issues, for a fraction of the cost of providing toilet care support,” says Mark Sadler, sales director at Clos-o-Mat, which supplies the Aerolet.  “It further has the intangible added benefit of giving the client a feeling of dignity and independence, which itself is proven to help the client cope longer at home, further reducing domestic and residential care costs in the long-term. It obviously depends on how much care the client receives, but an Aerolet can pay for itself in less than four months against providing a carer solely to help the client toilet daily1.”

    1cost of care provision to go to the toilet approx. £7000pa ( 2 x carers x 4 visits/day x 365 days); Aerolet purchase price £2800.


  • Removing obstacles to grammar education

    Tunbridge Wells GrammarOne of the largest remaining Grammar Schools in the UK has taken a holistic approach to enabling its students to fulfil its aim of equipping students for a full and constructive place in society.

    Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys was approached by the parents of a young boy with Duchennes muscular dystrophy, who wanted their son to access the benefits of education at the school, but appreciated the nature of his illness meant he may have difficulty using certain facilities- including school toilets- now and in the future.

    The School’s solution was to turn to accessible school toilet expert Clos-o-Mat, with main contractor Spencer Francis, to help supply and install two new hygiene rooms on the campus. The rooms give greater scope than that provided by the existing standard wheelchair-accessible toilets on-site, and ensure accessible toilet provision is achieved across the main campus buildings.

    With more space, to enable student and carer to access equipment, both hygiene rooms have height adjustable washbasins, height adjustable changing benches, hoists and Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita automatic ‘wash and dry’ toilets with touch-sensitive switch.

    The Welfare Manager at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys explained that, although not all of the equipment is needed yet, by ensuring the equipment in the rooms is as adaptable as possible, the facilities will meet the changing needs of the school’s student with Duchenes. It will also open the school’s door for other disabled students who may wish to attend but may have previously thought the Grammar School inaccessible to them. 


  • Changing Places to grab attention

    Changing PlacesWhat have a blog, supermarket, leisure centre, tourism survey and January sales all got in common?

    They all involve Changing Places accessible toilets, and stories about them have been the most read posts on our social media.

    Changing Places Changing Lives


  • Clos-o-Mat helps users go the extra mile…

    Holiday MapTens of thousands of people who would need a carer to help them toilet are being given greater independence and opportunity to venture away from home with a new on-line resource.

    Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s biggest supplier of automatic wash/dry shower toilets, has created a country-wide ‘accessible toilet’ map, unlike any other available. The quick and easy to use facility, accessed here, enables bespoke searching of ‘away from home’ toilets that go beyond conventional Document M type accessible WCs.

    Searches can be executed by place name, be it geographical or a specific venue, by public accessible toilets- and their ‘bigger and better’ counterpart Changing Places facilities- that have Clos-o-Mat toilets therein, holiday locations with Clos-o-Mats, and centres where potential users can ‘try before they buy’.

    “People who need the help of a carer to toilet are often limited by their ability to go out because- for many- standard accessible toilets are not suitable, either because they need a carer to help them go to the toilet, and/or they need additional specialist equipment,” explains Clos-o-Mat marketing manager Robin Tuffley.

    ‘The map enables them to go out and about much more, secure in the knowledge they will be able to access suitable toilet facilities. They can plan their trip,  find somewhere suitable when out,  or where there is a Clos-o-Mat for them to try before they buy, with just a few mouse-clicks or taps of their screen.

    “There are other map ‘apps’ that detail conventional accessible toilets, but no other, that we are aware of, that meet these more specific needs of the tens of thousands of people who already use, or need, a Clos-o-Mat.“


  • Roll of honour for best toilets in the country

    LOTY 2013 Awards Video

    “Do you need the toilet?” is a question that can be asked with more peace of mind by checking out the winners of 2013 Loo of the Year Awards ….

    Thousands of entries from across the country competed for the Awards, for the best ‘away from home’ toilet facilities, including public toilets, accessible toilets and Changing Places accessible, assisted toilets. Overall UK winner was Brighton & Hove Council, with Asda winning the best corporate provider award, McDonalds the best accessible toilet, and The Look Out Discovery Centre the Award for England’s best Changing Places toilet.

    “Decent, clean toilet facilities when we are away from home play a big role in our decision making process of where to go,” explains Mike Bone, Awards organiser. “The Loo of the Year Awards recognise and reward excellence in toilet provision, and are becoming increasingly acknowledged by leading toilet providers as the ultimate accolade. Entries grow in number year on year, as operators recognise that good toilet provision encourages more visitors.”

    Robin Tuffley, marketing manager for Clos-o-Mat, one of the Awards’ sponsors, adds, “That part is even more important if you are disabled, or care for someone who is disabled: we take for granted that there will be facilities in any venue we visit, but if you need help to go to the toilet, that is not necessarily the case- but it should be.”

    “The Loo of the Year Awards attract over 1400 entries annually. The Changing Places Toilet Entries Award was introduced six years ago, to recognise the growth of the accessible, assisted toilets- over 500 are now open across the UK- and that their installation is now ‘desirable’ under latest Building Regulations.

    Clos-o-Mat, the UK’s leading supplier of disabled toileting solutions in and out of the home, including accessible hygiene rooms and Changing Places, sponsors the Changing Places category. Further, to enable disabled people and their carers to plan trips effectively, the company now has an interactive, searchable map found here, with all the Changing Places toilets in the UK thereon.

  • Changing places in 3D

    Changing PlacesHelping clients visualise a facilities project is simplified with a new 3D CAD download.

    The Changing Places accessible, assisted toilet 3D CAD download, available only, has been purpose-developed to help designers plan building layouts and visualise how the room differs from a standard (Document M type) wheelchair-accessible toilet, the range of equipment therein, and how it all integrates to enable anyone who needs the help of a carer to go to the toilet when away from home. The 3D CAD download compliments the range of 2D CAD downloads, and video, already available on the website and via external resources including NBS.

    “Kelvin Grimes, Clos-o-Mat Changing Places/hygiene rooms project manager, explains, “Actually seeing the equipment in situ, and how it integrates, always helps one’s understanding of a concept.”

    Changing Places accessible assisted toilets were developed to help the hundreds of thousands of people who cannot access a conventional accessible toilet because the standard lacks space or equipment.

    Under Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013, Changing Places toilets/ hygiene rooms are now ‘desirable’ in any building to which the public has access; under BS8300: 2009, they should be incorporated in addition to any existing accessible toilet provision. Since the concept was devised, over 500 have been opened in venues across the country, enabling anyone who needs the help of a carer to toilet to now enjoy everyday life, knowing there are appropriate toilet facilities away from home.

    Clos-o-Mat has a proven track record on the supply and installation of fully accessible toilets, including a substantial number of Changing Places facilities. Its ability to deliver design advice, supply, installation, commissioning, project management and maintenance across the ambit of accessible toileting equipment, including the Clos-o-Mat wash and dry (automatic) toilet, means it is uniquely positioned to simplify the whole process for forward-thinking environments to which the public have access.

  • “Do you want fries with that…?”

    COMAdding ‘sides’ to a basic order can transform it…..and that extends through to toileting!

    Clos-o-Mat, the UK’s leading supplier of disabled toileting solutions, has the widest range of accessories available on the market, to enable tailoring of its Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita automatic shower (wash and dry) toilet to individual user needs- at the outset and as their needs change over time.

    The Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita is the biggest-selling toilet of its kind, because of its ease of use and delivery of optimum independence, dignity and hygiene to anyone who would need the help of a carer to toilet. The accessories further enhance the user’s ability to toilet without help, and include integrated fold-down support arms, lateral body supports, a proxy switch, soft seat, infra-red control and plinths, plus compatible shower chairs, all of which can be specified with the original order, or retro-fitted.

    Also, Clos-o-Mat has developed a range of paediatric and bariatric support systems to enable the smallest and largest users to benefit.

    “No two people are the same, even if they have the same disability. And people, and their needs, change over time,” explains Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager. “That is why we have developed what is now the largest range of accessories available for an automatic shower toilet, so users’ independence, hygiene and dignity is preserved for as long as practically possible.”

    The range of Clos-o-Mat accessories is detailed here, so users and their Occupational Therapists can easily see the solutions, watch a video on how the unit works, and find out how other users have benefitted.