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  • Helping make NHS toilets safe

    A new report claims that UK hospitals and clinics are putting disabled people and their carers at risk by not providing appropriate toilets.

    Leighton Hospital

    The toiletaccess report- Making a Case for Fully Accessible Toilets Within the NHS*- says toilets in NHS buildings have been found that are unsafe, and that fail to ensure the dignity, safety and wellbeing of patients, staff and carers. Further, of the 206 acute and mental health Trusts, only 42 have a basic Changing Places assisted accessible toilet for people who need a carer’s help.

    Clos-o-Mat has already put in place solutions to help NHS Trusts address their toilet provision. Its white paper, Provision of Changing Places Toilets in Hospitals & the Healthcare Industry, provides unbiased advice on legal requirements and good practice guidelines, according to all relevant documents- Equality Act 2010, Building Regulations Approved Document M, BS8300:2009.

    “Research shows some 30% of NHS users in the UK are disabled, and hospitals are the second most inaccessible buildings for them,” observes Kelvin Grimes, Clos-o-Mat’s Changing Places project manager. “Legally, any service provider has to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the built environment that would put someone at a substantial disadvantage, and those adjustments should be made in anticipation of a need being demonstrated. Those adjustments include suitable toilet provision. Provision of toilets is a basic human right, under the European Convention of Human Rights, yet is, according to the toiletaccess report, the most overlooked human right.

    “We go to the toilet on average eight times a day. Think how long we spend in a hospital, even for a routine outpatient appointment; the chances are you will need to use the toilet.”

    Copies of the white paper are available for free download here.

  • Toilet movements

    Even better support and service will result from Clos-o-Mat’s relocation.

    New Offices

    The company- Britain’s market leader in assistive technology in toilets, home and away- has moved from the offices it has occupied since its foundation 55 years ago into larger premises in Sale, Manchester.

    The move has been prompted by the company’s continuing growth in sales, and corresponding growth in personnel: Clos-o-Mat is just completing a record year for sales of its brand-leading Palma Vita wash & dry toilet, and is also seeing increasing supply & installation of accessible toilet facilities away from home, including Changing Places suites for people who need a carer’s help for their personal hygiene.

    “The new offices give us almost twice as much space,” explained managing director Brian Hoare. “To continue to deliver on our reputation for unrivalled personal support and service for our customers and clients, we need the capability to accommodate and expand our team. We now have the space to do that, and simultaneously institute appropriate meeting, demonstration and presentation facilities.”

    The new head quarters are also easily to access for the company’ disabled clients. A level access entrance leads to the ground floor presentation & meeting areas. Car parking is outside the door, and the nearest Metro station and bus stop only yards away. Contact points- telephone, email, website- remain unchanged.

    Added Brian Hoare, “Finding the right premises was more than finding the right amount of office and administration space. To us, it was as important that wherever we moved to was accessible for our staff, many of whom have been with us for many years, and was accessible for customers.”

  • Accessible guidance

    With the growing need to make homes adaptable so occupiers can remain independent, and in their own homes, new guidance is aiming to help get it right.

    Palma Vita

    ‘Design Guidance & Considerations for a Domestic Accessible Toilet/Wetroom’ has been produced and published by Clos-o-Mat. The white paper gives advice to ensure that all aspects affecting the functionality and practicality of a bathroom, wetroom and toilet, as occupier needs change, are considered.

    “Bathrooms are the most common form of home adaptation, to the extent the Lifetime Homes criteria have been amended to accommodate occupant personal hygiene issues,” explains Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager.

    “Now, future installation of a hoist should be included in newbuild designs. A ground floor toilet should be provided. In existing buildings, changing a door from swinging to sliding can give valuable extra space inside to aid manoeuvrability….Then there are other considerations: will a particular shower chair fit over the toilet, is there the space for such an eventuality, what height is the toilet and can that be adjusted, what about using colour to help people with visual impairments, to cite just a few examples.

    “Our white paper covers all the details to think about to ensure a successful adaptation, which meets the user’s needs and so achieves best value for the provider.”

    The white paper can be downloaded free of charge here. It is the latest in a series of guidance documents produced by Clos-o-Mat designed to ensure good specification of accessible toilet provision in domestic and public/commercial environments.

  • Equip to change (lives)

    Designing a couple of extra fittings into a space will ensure wheelchair- accessible toilets are fully compliant, not only with user requirements and Building Regulations, but equality law too.

    Changing Place

    So advises Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading specialist of away-from-home assisted accessible toilets and washrooms.

    Under current Building Regulations Approved Document M, toilet accommodation needs to be suitable for ‘all people who use the building’. But conventional accessible toilets- as the Document recognises - do not meet everyone’s needs: potentially millions need more space and equipment.

    And under the Equality Act 2010 (replacement to the DDA), providers are required to make reasonable adjustments to the built environment that would otherwise place someone at a substantial disadvantage, and make those adjustments before they are demanded….

    Installation of an adult-sized changing bench and hoist into a wheelchair-accessible toilet helps ensure more inclusive compliance. And, often, no extra space is required: a wall-mounted changing bench will fold flush against away, and the hoist is ceiling mounted.

    Explains Kelvin Grimes, project manager at Clos-o-Mat, “For millions of disabled people, conventional wheelchair-accessible toilets aren’t suitable, as they need a carer to help them. So they are faced with stark choices: they don’t go somewhere, cut their trip short, or have to lie on the toilet floor to be changed.

    “In an ideal world, the space would be bigger- at least 12sq m- but we need to be realistic. If the required 12 sq m can be allocated in addition to a conventional wheelchair accessible toilet, and an ‘all-singing’ Changing Places assisted accessible toilet included, that’s great, but a fair compromise is to adapt the wheelchair accessible toilet and at least put in an adult-sized changing bench. You wouldn’t expect to change a baby on the floor, so why a child or adult?”

  • Toilet helps unblock hospital bed….

    Having a toilet that is more than just a toilet has enabled a woman to be discharged from hospital days early….

    Rose Murphy


    Rose Murphy was in a serious car accident 12 years ago, through which she lost the use of her left arm. She has been able to remain as independent as possible in part because of her lavatory- a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita wash & dry toilet. And the Clos-o-Mat has now enabled her to persuade nursing staff to discharge her after an operation much sooner than expected.

    Rose has for some time needed an operation to repair a hole in the rotary cuff of her right arm and shoulder which, with subsequent recuperation, would involve the arm being ‘out of action’ for eight weeks. She refused to consider having the operation until her Occupational Therapist assessed her and effected installation of the toilet in her home in Chalfont St Peter, Bucks.

    “They wanted to keep me in hospital because I couldn’t use my arms, and they were struggling to organise appropriate support care for me back at home,” explained Rose. “I told them about my Clos-o-Mat; after some persuading, they agreed I could go home, as I would be able to undertake my personal care at least.

    “Before the crash I was a social worker, and knew through my work about Clos-o-Mats. I was very aware of the potential impact it could have on my life, my independence.”

    Rose’s Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita features a ‘soft-touch’ hand/foot switch, which means she can operate it with just light pressure from her foot. This, together with the bath lift in her wetroom, means she can undertake her all personal hygiene without carer intervention.

  • Go to the loo to improve health & hygiene

    Latest figures reveal that at least 6.5million people in the UK have some form of bowel control problem. Some 14million people have a bladder problem. For many, the issues this raises daily could be alleviated, simply by changing the toilet…

    Ken Townend

    A wash & dry toilet- such as the Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita- looks like a conventional WC, and has integrated douching and drying built into the unit.

    “Are you cleaner showering, or just wiping yourself over with a towel?” asks Clos-o-Mat Sales Director Mark Sadler. “Apply that to your bottom, especially if you have continence issues. We British don’t have serious conversations about toilet matters, but with such a high prevalence of bladder and bowel issues, maybe we need to, and to take steps to make life better for sufferers.

    “Incontinence raises issues of skin health, cleanliness and odours; whilst a wash & dry toilet doesn’t stop incidents, it does ensure the user is properly cleaned, to a consistently high level, afterwards, with less effort and mess. So it has a positive impact on personal hygiene.”

    Users support the theory. Dr Kenneth Townend PhD, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, had a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita installed to help him undertake personal hygiene in comfort when he developed diverticulitis.

    “The diverticulitis means my bowels move only every 5 -10 days, which makes passing motions difficult and sore. I bleed. I often get infections. With the Clos-o-Mat, I just press the button and off we go! I get far less sore bums, which I used to get all the time even though I used the softest toilet paper or even wipes. And I am confident that I am clean, which didn’t happen before,” he explains.

  • Save money giving better care

    Care Homes ShowThe future of better care for older people extends to the bathroom, with a new initiative that delivers savings of over £200,00 pa1 yet improves lives for them- and staff.

    The 2015 Care Show (25-26 March in Bournemouth) will see Total Hygiene/Clos-o-Mat publicly unveil its ‘care home package’ aimed to give the client- in line with the Care Quality Commission Regulation 17- greater dignity, privacy and independence. It has ‘knock-on’ benefits for staff, and profitability.

    “We all need to go to the toilet, and do so on average 8 times a day!” says Geoff Richardson, Clos-o-Mat care home specialist. “Our package enables residents to do so either unaided, or with reduced care, and with improved, consistent cleanliness. Their independence and control over their lives is enhanced. Carers are freed for other duties, and handling issues eliminated. As one of our care home customers observed, it’s a win:win situation.”

    The care package focuses on the company’s Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita and Lima Lift wash/dry (automatic shower) toilets and Aerolet toilet lift.

    The wash/dry toilets do just that, so there is no need for manual cleansing with toilet tissue and all its associated considerations of manual dexterity, hand:body contact, risk of faecal transfer/contamination….

    The Aerolet toilet lifts help people with flexion/balance problems easily get on and off the toilet.

    The products will be on Total Hygiene/Clos-o-Mat’s stand, W138, enabling visitors to see how they work, and appreciate the benefits they bring, individually or combined, to the care home environment.

    1 care staff wages of £7.80/hour, with two staff required to take each client to the bathroom and assist for each 15 minute toilet trip, of which they undertake an average of 5trips/client/day means staff costs alone of £215,770 a year (£7192/ individual). Cost of Clos-o-Mats and Aerolet under £3000 each.


  • Reduce strain on social care provision and cost

    AeroletThe strain being placed on the NHS through lack of social care could in part by avoided- and the home life of older people improved- by use of assistive technology.

    A study by Age UK revealed that social care provision has decreased by 40% in the last decade, whilst the numbers of people needing the service has increased by 15%. Installation of appropriate toilet aids, for example, would reduce, and in some cases, eliminate the need for home care. Even the most advanced equipment would pay for itself in less than six months.

    So says Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading provider of toilet solutions for disabled and elderly people. “According to the Age UK study, over ¼ million people are struggling to carry out the daily task of using the toilet,” elaborates Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager.

    “Of course we have a vested interest, but it makes sound sense financially, relieves the pressure on hospital beds and care workers, and has the huge benefit of enabling the person to be in control, as independent as possible, and stay at home, for longer.”

    Clos-o-Mat’s solution is investment in toilet assistive technology of an automatic (wash and dry) toilet and/or toilet lifter, neither of which require major alterations to the home.


  • Making life easier for children and small adults

    RiftonThe health of a disabled child or small adult, and life of their carer, is being made better with a new hygiene system from Clos-o-Mat.

    The Rifton Hygiene & Toileting System (HTS) delivers optimum adaptability to accommodate personal hygiene requirements- showering, toileting and bathing- from one core unit. It has been purpose-designed to ensure the occupant is supported, in the best position for good hygiene.

    The Rifton HTS is compatible with both conventional WCs and, using the ‘roll-over’ version, the Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita automatic shower (wash & dry) toilet.

    Available in small, medium and large options, the standard system can be easily adjusted through height, seat depth and backrest, without tools, according to needs, and as the child grows. A range of accessories including lateral supports, seat and back pads and a footboard enable the system to be tailored to specific occupier and carer requirements.

    “Our management team are family people, as a company we have an ethos of optimising life for everyone, and appreciate the need to accommodate everyone’s needs, regardless of age and size,” says Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager.

    “Our new Rifton paediatric system means undertaking personal hygiene is now a better experience for all involved.”

    The Rifton system is the latest addition to Clos-o-Mat’s range. 


  • Are you sitting comfortably…?

    Spray HeadRegardless of ability, a good sitting position is key when going to the toilet, to ease bladder and bowel evacuation, and achieve adequate cleaning. Yet it is something that is often overlooked.

    Clos-o-Mat, the UK’s leading disabled toileting solutions provider, has undertaken significant research into the subject, to ensure its Palma Vita and Lima Lift automatic shower (wash and dry) toilets, and accessories such as the Aerolet toilet lift, are designed to ensure the user is sat in the best position possible.

    “It is surprising how many toileting aids do not take into account the human anatomy, and the need to be sat as erect, and supported, as possible, and to be able to operate the toilet without undue torso distortion,” says Mark Sadler, Clos-o-Mat sales director. “We see units where the user is leant back at 30°or more,so their bottom is pushed forward towards the front edge of the seat, and they are at risk of sliding off the unit completely!  We see seats that do not accommodate the user’s size, from a child through to a bariatric, so they are at risk of greater incidence of soiling or ineffective evacuation. We see units with small controls positioned low down or requiring manual operation behind the user.

    “A good toilet should sit the user with 90°bends at the hips and knees, be at the right height so that their feet remain on the floor, and with a seat that supports them but allows the buttocks to be slightly separated. The best advice for anyone is ‘try before you buy’!”

    To fulfil that advice, Clos-o-Mat has invested in placement of working models of the Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita in most of the disabled living centres (DLC’s) across the country, and its own mobile demonstration unit, which can be pre-booked to go to the potential user’s home. A useful white paper- Guide to Specification for an Automatic Shower Toilet- details selection criteria, and is available for download free of charge here.

    Clos-o-Mat was the first British supplier of automatic toilets, and its latest evolution, the Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita, is the only unit of its kind developed specifically for disabled and elderly people. Since the first Clos-o-Mat was introduced 50 years ago, over 40,000 have been sold, some of which are still in daily use. The company is unique in providing- in house- advice, supply, installation, commissioning and after sales maintenance & service.

  • Go online to enable school trips

    CP RoomTeachers of children with special needs can broaden their horizons when planning trips out of school through a new resource.

    Clos-o-Mat, the UK’s leading disabled toileting solutions provider, has added a fully searchable map to this website, covering all the 500+ Changing Places accessible toilets (hygiene rooms open to the public) across the UK.

    Changing Places toilets are ‘bigger and better’ than typical accessible toilets, and include as standard more space, a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench, and hoist. As a result, outings involving children with profound and/or multiple disabilities can be made for longer, and further afield, as staff can rest assured there are appropriate toilet facilities. Changing Places toilets are already open in a raft of leisure centres, shopping centres, tourist attractions, stations, museums and activity centres.

    “Without Changing Places toilets, teachers and helpers would either have to cut a visit short to enable return to school before toilets were needed, or double-pad the children,” explains Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager. “We believe ALL children should benefit from educational experiences out of the classroom, Having undertaken many of the Changing Places installations, we are well placed to deliver the definitive guide, and understand what a positive impact their availability can make on enabling a more full participation in day to day activities.”

    The map- found here is fully searchable by town or postcode, and type of venue. It further includes useful details such as how the room is accessed, opening hours, and whereabouts within the venue the Changing Places is located.

  • Com-plete bathroom care delivers resident and staff satisfaction

    GlenashlingAutomatic ‘wash and dry’ toilets are now regarded as the only “proper” hygiene solution by residents at a nursing home.

    Glenashling Nursing Home in Celbridge, Co Kildare initially installed two of the Clos-o-Mat toilets- one fixed height Palma Vita and one height adjustable Lima Lift, in a new extension. Reaction from residents and staff to the units, that automatically wash and dry the user after toileting, has been so positive that owner Garry Gavigan has now had a further 3 x Palma Vita toilets, each with an accompanying Aerolet toilet lift, installed in communal bathrooms as part of an upgrade programme.

    “The residents are so pleased with the toilets, and the staff think they are wonderful,” says Garry Gavigan. “They help ensure the care we give, even in so personal an area as going to the toilet, is dignified. The best comment I have had was one of the nurses telling me that as she was taking a resident to her room, and the bathroom there, the resident said ‘No Nurse, I want to go to the PROPER toilet!’ She meant the Clos-o-Mat!

    “The Clos-o-Mats are so much more hygienic, and the staff and I agree they and the Aerolets make resident toileting so much safer for us all too. Glenashling is all about providing the highest standard of care, hence our decision when upgrading the older wing to bring even the toilets up to the same quality as those in the new extension.”

    The Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita looks like- and can be used as- a conventional WC, with additional, in-built douching and drying. Simply retaining pressure on the flush pad triggers simultaneous flushing and warm water washing, followed by warm air drying. As a result all the considerations/ issues affecting manual cleansing with toilet tissue by the user or carer are eliminated.

    The Aerolet toilet lift can be fitted over a standard WC or Clos-o-Mat. It replicates the natural motion of standing up and sitting down, gently raising and lowering the user to position them accurately over the toilet as required whilst enabling their feet to remain in contact with the floor and maintaining the centre of gravity above the feet for balance. After toileting, the lift can be raised by degrees to ease access for cleansing.

    The automatic toilets and toilet lifts are just part of Clos-o-Mat’s comprehensive bathroom package for nursing and care homes, which further includes body driers, shower chairs, height adjustable baths and basins, hoists and changing benches. The company can advise on design considerations, and provide a raft of support services from supply to installation, commissioning and on-going service & maintenance.

    Clos-o-Mat has a 50+ years’ history in provision of dignified, independent toileting for elderly and/or disabled people. Since its foundation, over 40,000 Clos-o-Mat toilets have been installed, both in and out of the home environment.

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  • Total approach helps deliver ‘inspired’ accessible sports facilities

    George CarnallAchieving appropriate changing facilities to enable everyone to participate in sport is being simplified with a new raft of Lottery funding together with an innovative package from Total Hygiene.

    The latest raft of £50m funding under Sport England’s Places People Play is now released, to enable community sports facilities to be refurbished- specifically including provision of accessible toilets and changing rooms for players and officials.

    Total Hygiene, the UK’s leading disabled toileting solutions provider, is the only British company to have, in-house, the expertise, experience and products to cost-effectively and efficiently help design then supply, install, commission, and service, properly-equipped accessible changing rooms and toilet facilities, as detailed under the new Building Regulations Approved Document M.

    “Research shows that people make a conscious decision NOT to go somewhere if they believe there are not appropriate facilities for them,” says Robin Tuffley, Total Hygiene marketing manager. “It is therefore vital that, in order to build on the Olympic legacy, we have to address toilet and changing room facilities, so disabled people and able-bodied, can ALL take part in local sports with the right amenities.”

    Total Hygiene ( has already delivered accessible personal hygiene facilities at sporting venues as diverse as Manchester’s George Carnall Leisure Centre to Wembley Stadium.

    Its range of solutions encompasses simple drop-down grab rails through to fully-equipped hygiene rooms and Changing Places toilets, with shower chairs, changing benches and automatic (wash and dry) toilets. 

  • Total support for legal compliance with school toilet requirements

    SchoolsEducation authorities and providers are being given a simple solution towards compliance with legal requirements re provision of school toilets for disabled pupils, through developments at Total Hygiene.

    The company, Britain’s leading provider of disabled toileting solutions for domestic, commercial and public environments, has launched a complete package to provide design guidance, supply, installation, commissioning and on-going maintenance of the special hygiene equipment needed by many of the growing number of students with disabilities. No other British company can offer the complete ambit in-house.

    Latest statistics reveal that the number of disabled children has increased by 62% in the past 25 years. Some 60% of statemented children are now in mainstream schooling. Over 20,000 students have a disability- almost 6% of the student population. There is therefore a growing, and continuing need, to ensure disabilities are accommodated in the educational environment- right through to the provision of appropriate toilets.

    Statutory Instrument No 2 specifies the number of toilets that pupils MUST have, and lays down a minimum of 1 toilet for every 20 pupils over the age of 5, and the number of toilet facilities must be adequate having regard to age, gender, and any special requirements.Further, under the Equality Act, which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act, providers are now obliged to make reasonable changes to the built environment where a disabled person would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage: previously, changes were only needed if it would have been impossible or unreasonably difficult… Under the Department for Education’s Building Bulletin 102  guideline that addresses children up to the age of 19, educational establishments must provide accessible personal care facilities at convenient intervals.

    “Theoretically, as soon as a school takes in even just one disabled child, it legally needs to provide appropriate toilet facilities,” says Robin Tuffley, Total Hygiene marketing manager. “This could be an adaptation as simple as a cubicle with a wheelchair-wide door and a grab rail, installation of a ‘wash and dry’ toilet, through to a dedicated hygiene room complete with changing bench and hoist.

    “Whichever, uniquely, we can provide whatever is needed, and can apply 50 years’ of expertise on our field to ensure the school or college complies in the most cost-effective way, and has the ability to ensure the equipment works for years, serving the needs of future intakes.”

    Total Hygiene ( the UK’s largest supplier and manufacturer of disabled toileting equipment. Its Clos-o-Mat toilet is the only one of its kind manufactured in the UK; since the concept of a Clos-o-Mat was first introduced 50 years ago, over 40,000 have been installed, some of which are still in daily use 30 years after first being fitted. The latest version, the Palma Vita, is the only toilet of its kind developed specifically for disabled people, and features a range of accessories to enable precise tailoring to individual needs, backed up by in-house service & maintenance.

  • All change at Toddington…

    ToddingtonOne of the UK’s oldest motorway services is taking its facilities into the 21st century with installation of the latest accessible toilet concept.

    Moto Toddington- also the operator’s head office- has already won a Loo of the Year Award for its toilet facilities. Now, as part of an upgrade programme, a ‘bigger and better’ accessible toilet has been incorporated in the lower concourse of the services.

    Supplied by Total Hygiene, the new facility includes a Changing Places toilet, which gives adequate space in the changing area for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their carers, and other disabled people who need the help of a carer, and has additional equipment including a height adjustable adult sized changing bench and hoist. A Changing Places toilet is now ‘good practice’ under BS8300:2009 for all new build and refurbishment projects involving buildings to which numbers of the public have access.

    To make the facility as inclusive as possible, Moto has also added one of Total Hygiene’s Clos-o-Mat Palma ‘wash and dry’ toilets to the Changing Places facility: looking like, and capable of being used as, a conventional WC, the Clos-o-Mat features integral automatic douching and drying, eliminating the need to manually cleanse with toilet tissue, improving hygiene, dignity and independence for the user and their carer. At Toddington, the Clos-o-Mat also has Total Hygiene’s touch sensitive switch, which can operate the toilet by light hand or foot pressure.

    Kirsty Birkin, Moto marketing manager, elaborated, “We have already installed a Changing Places toilet with a Clos-o-Mat at our Cherwell Valley services. That influenced our decision to install one at Toddington, and we will consider it for future sites if the opportunity presents itself. We feel there is a real need to provide additional facilities other than the traditional ‘disabled toilet’, for those who are able to travel but need the help and assistance of others.”

    Total Hygiene is the UK’s largest supplier of disabled toileting solutions, and sponsor of the Changing Places campaign. Since the campaign began over 450 Changing Places toilets have been opened across the UK. In the last year alone, 100 Changing Places toilets have been opened at venues across the country.

  • Adapting to deliver “fantastic” independence

    Anne HeyA multiple sclerosis sufferer is achieving ‘fantastic’ independence- through a new toilet.

    Anne Hey lives alone in her Weaver Vale Housing Trust bungalow in Northwich, and, because of her illness, was struggling to use the conventional toilet in her small bathroom. The solution, undertaken under Occupational Therapist recommendation as part of the Trust’s policy to make appropriate adaptations to tenants’ homes, was to install one of Total Hygiene’s Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita ‘wash and dry’ toilets with arm supports.

    Styled like a conventional WC, the Clos-o-Mat also has in-built washing and drying facilities as standard, so the user does not have to use toilet tissue to clean after use. The optional arm supports can be raised or lowered easily as required to assist transfer to and from the toilet, and provide a lever for users with reduced muscle strength.

    “It’s fantastic, and has given me a great deal of confidence. Having the Clos-o-Mat has made everything perfect in enabling me to live at home. The service from the Trust and Total Hygiene has been brilliant,” says Anne.

    “I was having trouble getting off the toilet; my bathroom is only small, so there wasn’t the space to erect some sort of frame to help me. In the short time I have had the Clos-o-Mat, it has made a massive difference to my daily life, particularly toilet transfers. I used to feel daunted about going to the toilet and the possibility of getting stuck and having to call for neighbours to help, but it’s a lot better and easier now.”

    The Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita is manufactured in the UK by Total Hygiene, and was the first toilet of its kind developed specifically for disabled people. Since the introduction of the first Clos-o-Mat 50 years ago, over 40,000 have been installed in people’s homes, and commercial and public environments. Total Hygiene is the UK’s biggest supplier of disabled toileting solutions, and sponsor of the Changing Places campaign to create appropriate accessible toilets ‘away from home’.

  • Appropriate facilities proven to enable inclusivity

    WakefieldEnhanced accessibility- right through to toilet provision- is proving to enable disabled students to benefit from state-of-the art further education.

    Wakefield College has just completed a major expansion scheme, including the building of its new SkillsXChange. Included in the build programme was the creation of two special accessible toilet facilities (hygiene rooms), supplied and installed by leading disabled toileting solutions provider Total Hygiene.

    Initially commissioned to enable one specific student to be able to access the College, the facilities have enabled an additional 15 or so students to take advantage of further and higher education at the site.

    A spokesperson for Wakefield College explained, “ Wakefield College continuously tries to improve its access for disabled learners, and the statistics show our endeavours are succeeding: we are showing a 1% increase a year in the number of learners who declared a disability.

    “Our inclusive accommodation strategy aims to ensure that physical access is a major priority in all new developments. The provision of the hygiene rooms has been a major benefit to the students: the rooms are used every hour of every College day! “

    The hygiene rooms  include space for the disabled person and up to two carers, a height adjustable changing bench, hoist, a height adjustable washbasin and Clos-o-Mat ‘wash and dry’ toilet.

    The biggest-selling unit of its type, the Clos-o-Mat looks like a conventional WC but features integral douching and drying, removing the need for the user or their carer to manually cleanse after toileting, thus improving hygiene, dignity and independence. Clos-o-Mat toilets are manufactured in the UK by Total Hygiene. Observed Kelvin Grimes, Total Hygiene’s accessible toilet specialist, “Wakefield College felt an accessible toilet with a Clos-o-Mat rather than a standard WC would truly fulfill its ethos of access and education to all, regardless of type of disability: their feedback in terms of the rooms’ usage demonstrates they were right to create a room that was as accessible as possible.”

    Founded 50 years ago, Total Hygiene is the only company in the UK that can not only supply the full ambit of disabled toilet solutions, but install, commission and maintain the equipment. In its history, it has supplied over 40000 Clos-o-Mat toilets, many of which are still in regular use some 30 years after first being installed.

  • Lottery funding for total inclusivity to sport

    George CarnallMore than £10m of lottery funding has been announced for the Inclusive Sport fund, to enable disabled people to participate more fully. Total Hygiene, the UK’s leading disabled toileting solutions company, is urging sport providers to remember participation extends to personal hygiene and changing facilities.

    The money aims to build on the success of the 2012 Paralympic Games, and is available to projects that add or expand an existing programme and demonstrate that the applicants understand the needs of the disabled people being targeted. It compliments the Inspired Facilities fund, which provides capital for building projects, a new raft of which will be available in February 2013.

    “Appropriate changing and toilet facilities are a vital part of encouraging any people to play sport,” says Robin Tuffley, Total Hygiene marketing manager. “For thousands of disabled people, existing accessible (Document M type) toilets do not give them the space or equipment they need to go to the toilet, get changed etc. The grant funding specifically states that people’s different abilities need to be addressed; to our mind, that extends right through to enabling them to undertake personal hygiene. Indeed, under BS8300, it is good practice to include facilities such as a Changing Places accessible toilet in any building to which the public gave access.” 

    Changing Places facilities are larger than conventional disabled toilets; in addition to adequate space to enable a wheelchair user and their carer to manoeuvre, they include as standard a hoist, height adjustable changing bench and peninsular WC. Total Hygiene, sponsor of the campaign, finds that many venues further incorporate its Clos-o-Mat ‘wash and dry’ toilet in place of a traditional WC, in that the integral douche and drier of a Clos-o-Mat enable the user to toilet without having to wipe clean afterwards, or be manually cleansed by a carer, thus increasing hygiene, dignity and independence.

    Total Hygiene is already experienced in advising on, providing, and maintaining appropriate toilet facilities in sport and leisure venues, such as Northcroft Leisure Centre, where the company installed a Changing Places toilet with a Clos-o-Mat wash and dry (automatic) toilet “The Changing Places room has been well received. It is a wonderful facility. In the year we have had the Changing Places toilet open, we have only had one negative comment: that was simply asking for a chair to be included in the room, which we have done,” says Centre Manager Alex Godfrey. “If Changing Places toilets are strategically positioned- for example so they interconnect with amenities- we believe they can have a notable, positive impact on visitor numbers.”

  • ‘Total’ solution to accessible sport changing facilities

    NorthcroftSport England has published a new audit checklist to help specifiers ensure their existing or new sports facility delivers optimum accessibility in line with new legislation and guidance: a checklist that can be mainly fulfilled through just one source.

    Total Hygiene, the UK’s leading supplier of disabled toileting solutions, is the only company that can deliver all the requirements for accessible toileting under the updated audit list- from a unisex accessible WC through to a Changing Places toilet.

    “Sport England’s accessible sports facilities audit checklist is intended to assist the user to access accessibility and help identify and avoid barriers that might otherwise limit the use of the facility by people with a disability,” explains Robin Tuffley, Total Hygiene marketing manager. 

    “There have been numerous legislative and guidance changes in recent months affecting the design and operational obligations of sports facility operators. The checklist helps identify what they now need, whilst we, with our 50 years’ experience and wealth of in-house expertise, can deliver and answer those needs. Uniquely, we can also go beyond sole supply of equipment, but its installation, commissioning and on-going service & maintenance.”

    Northcroft Leisure Centre in Berkshire is just one sports venue that has already used Total Hygiene to install a Changing Places toilet, and has gone beyond the core requirements in further incorporating one of Total Hygiene’s Clos-o-Mat ‘wash and dry’ toilet in the room, to maximize accessibility.

    “The Changing Places room has been well received. It is a wonderful facility. In the year we have had the Changing Places toilet open, we have only had one negative comment: that was simply asking for a chair to be included in the room, which we have done,” says Centre Manager Alex Godfrey. “If Changing Places toilets are strategically positioned- for example so they interconnect with amenities- we believe they can have a notable, positive impact on visitor numbers.”

    Total Hygiene ( the UK’s largest supplier and manufacturer of disabled toileting equipment. Its Clos-o-Mat toilet is the only one of its kind manufactured in the UK; since the concept was first introduced 50 years ago, over 40,000 have been installed, some of which are still in daily use 30 years after first being fitted. The latest version, the Palma Vita, is the only toilet of its kind developed specifically for disabled people.

    The company is also sole sponsor of the Changing Places campaign for fully accessible toilets; since the campaign began over 450 Changing Places toilets have been opened across the UK. In the last year alone, over 50 Changing Places toilets have been opened at venues across the country.

  • Total-ly new approach to accessibility

    People needing accessible toilets, bathrooms and washrooms are finding it quicker and easier to access relevant information, through major technological changes at Total Hygiene.

    Britain’s leading provider of disabled toileting solutions has completely re-worked its website-,  to optimise accessibility via all latest media. Further, it has generated pages on the key social media.

    As a result, whether using a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or PC, Total Hygiene is giving its customers a user-friendly site that is purpose-designed to enable access to all appropriate information, and a means by which to keep up-to-date with new developments.

    The website’s opening page itself gives an instant overview. At a click, tap, or flick, each individual sector is quickly downloaded and accessible, from individual product summary via detailed technical installation, servicing and maintenance information, through to an interactive map giving locations of fully accessible washrooms and Changing Places toilets.

    On its social media pages, the company is keeping followers informed of its own, new developments, issues and subjects of relevance to the sector, and posting details of the new accessible toilets in public venues it has supplied, as they are opened.

    “We live in a world where people access information in vastly different ways to even five years ago,” says Robin Tuffley, Total Hygiene marketing manager. “It is also a world in which the numbers of people who need help with personal hygiene, because of health, age or injury, is also growing.

    “Our ethos is about innovation, so it is appropriate our internet presence reflects the modern world, and delivers the information people want, in a format that is as easy as possible to access. Equally, using social media enables us to instantly communicate items of interest, reinforcing our position as a leader.”

  • Changing t(r)ack to optimise accessibility….

    PaddingtonPaddington Station is continuing its tradition of being at the hub of developments with the installation of a state-of-the-art accessible toilet.

    The new Changing Places toilet, alongside Platform 12 towards the new taxi deck ,was opened with a new parent and child changing room/ disabled toilet ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.  It was supplied and installed by Total Hygiene, the UK’s leading disabled toileting and washroom solutions provider, and sponsor of the Changing Places campaign for enhanced accessible toilets.

    The new facilities, funded by the Department for Transport, are part of Network Rail’s (who own and manage Paddington Station) commitment to optimizing accessibility,. The new facilities are in line with the Department’s code of practice for accessible station design, which advises that station toilets should not just be accessible to people in wheelchairs, but those who cannot bend, with limited strength, balance and/or vision, but, in addition, there should be a Changing Places toilet.

    The Department of Transport, under its Putting Passengers First survey, found that toilets were the top facility most in need of upgrading, but also that they were the most important priority for improvement.

    Patrick Hallgate, route managing director, Network Rail’s regional director, said, “We are committed to providing a better railway for all across our network and stations. Paddington is a hugely important station, used by 60,000 people a day, with links to Heathrow AIrport and the Great Western region, and part of the Crossrail service starting in 2018. The new toilet facilities are one of the ways we are ensuring the station is fit for the future and meets the needs of its growing number of users. “

    The Changing Places toilet is larger than a standard accessible (Document M) toilet, and also includes as standard height adjustable adult-sized changing bench and hoist. Paddington is the first major London station to include one of the facilities; it brings the total now available in the UK to almost 450, of which a third have been installed in the past 12 months.

  • Taking historic building into 21st century

    Menai CollegeEnabling students to fulfill their potential has been taken to a new level with the installation of state-of-the art hygiene facilities in a building that can trace its roots to the 13th Century.

    Coleg Menai in Bangor provides academic and vocational education and training for over 10,000 students, with a mission to provide modern learning facilities accessible to all- despite some of its estate buildings being listed. In fulfilling that mission, it has commissioned leading disabled toileting solutions provider Total Hygiene to supply and install a new hygiene room in the Friars Building, home to the College’s licensed training restaurant and hair & beauty salons.

    Coleg Menai Estates Officer Huw Elfed Williams elaborated, “The Friars building is Grade II listed, and dates back to the 13th Century, so it is a challenge to ensure it, like our other buildings, is available to disabled students. The ground floor hygiene room works alongside other installations such as automatic doors and a lift that will make college life easier and more accessible to disabled students- and staff.  We consulted with experts in the field to ensure the equipment we installed delivered a facility that meets the needs of a wide range of disabilities.”

    As a result, the new room features, in addition to standard accessible toilet equipment,  two height adjustable washbasins, a ward/ privacy screen, a shower chair and a Clos-o-Mat ‘wash and dry’ toilet.

    The combination of equipment ensures transfer from wheelchair to the toilet or shower is as easy as possible. The built-in douche and drier of the Clos-o-Mat means people can use the toilet without having to manually cleanse with toilet tissue.

    Under the Department for Education’s Building Bulletin 102, educational establishments must provide accessible personal care facilities at convenient intervals round a school. The number of disabled children increased by 62% in the past 25 years, and 60%- 150,000- of the statemented children in England alone are in mainstream schooling. Recent statistics show almost 20,500 students* have a disability- almost 6% of the student population.

    Adds Robin Tuffley, Total Hygiene marketing manager, “As the number of disabled children increases, it is logical to assume a similar increase in the number of disabled FE, HE and vocational students. Coleg Menai is among the pioneers in tertiary education in providing appropriate facilities for ALL its students, regardless of ability.”

    Founded over 50 years ago, Total Hygiene is the UK’s largest supplier of disabled toileting solutions, and the only one to offer in house design guidance, supply, install, commissioning and maintenance.

  • New medical device delivers improved hygiene in toileting

    Palma with supportsHealthcare managers are being given a new opportunity to help people under their care simultaneously achieve better personal hygiene and improved independence, through developments at Total Hygiene.

    The company’s Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita ‘wash and dry’ toilet fitted with accessories of arm supports, lateral body supports,  ‘soft touch’ operating switch or proxy switch has attained Medical Device Class 1 acceptance from the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).  It is believed to be the first device of this kind to achieve the grading.

    The certification means the Clos-o-Mat Palma has shown it can be used specifically to alleviate issues arising from someone’s disease, and help compensate for a person’s injury or handicap, especially those who have restricted use of their hands. The removal of hand contact has the additional benefit of improving hygiene for the person going to the toilet and their carer.

    Explains Total Hygiene Technical Director Brian Hoare, “The Clos-o-Mat Palma has had to pass stringent tests to achieve Medical Device certification. It means that hospitals, care and nursing homes and similar environments have another tool in their armoury to help people live as normal a life as possible regardless of their disease or disability.”

    Looking like a conventional WC, the Clos-o-Mat Palma features built-in douching and drying. Whilst it can be used traditionally, the toilet is easily used by anyone with limited manual dexterity, balance or similar disability: after toileting, they remain seated and apply gentle pressure to the flush pad. This triggers simultaneous flushing and douching, followed by warm air drying, ensuring they are effectively and hygienically cleaned without hand/body contact.

    The arm supports, lateral body supports and ‘soft touch’ options optimise use. The robust arm supports easily fold backwards to facilitate side transfer from a wheelchair but remain securely in place when the toilet is being used. The lateral body supports in conjunction with the arm supports enhance the user’s stability. The soft touch operating switch enables use by even people with minimal muscle strength, whilst the proxy switch enables operation by people with little or no grip: all the need to do is pass a hand over the trigger mechanism.

    In a hospital or similar environment, the Clos-o-Mat has also been shown to help reduce risk of cross contamination.

    The Clos-o-Mat is the first, and only, unit of its kind developed specifically for disabled people, and was the first to carry WRAS approval for legal connection to the mains water supply. Since Clos-o-Mats were first sold in the UK 50 years ago, over 40,000 have been installed in domestic and ‘out of home’ environments, some of which are still in daily use 30 years after first being fitted. Total Hygiene is the only disabled toilet provider in the country to support sales with a dedicated in-house service and maintenance team, ensuring the toilet continues to deliver dignity, independence and hygiene throughout its life.

  • Total solution to new regulatory compliance

    Changing Place WashroomThe new Building Regulations Approved Document M is now published, putting new constraints on specifiers for non-domestic buildings. But Total Hygiene can simplify the issues…..

    Now, it is preferred to have a wheelchair accessible unisex toilet in addition to any other wheelchair-accessible accommodation in separate sex toilets or washrooms. Further, it is now ‘desirable’ to include an enlarged unisex toilet incorporating an adult-sized changing table- similar to, and including, a Changing Places toilet.

    The new Document also stresses that suitable sanitary accommodation should be consistently located and available on each floor of multi-storey buildings, to facilitate their use by people with learning difficulties.

    Total Hygiene, as the UK’s largest supplier of disabled toileting solutions, is the only company in its sector capable of supplying, installing, and maintain, in-house, all the necessary sanitary equipment for the new compliance. Further, its ability extends to all buildings covered by the new Document, including sports facilities and schools.

    Robin Tuffley, Total Hygiene marketing manager, commented, “We know, from our vast experience already in the supply and fit of inclusive, accessible toilets and washrooms, hygiene rooms, Changing Places toilets and similar accommodation, that specifiers find it hard to find ONE company that can efficiently handle ALL aspects of the creation of such a facility. That is reinforced by the fact that Total Hygiene sponsors the Changing Places campaign.

    “Using our 50 years’ expertise, we can, in house, deliver accurate and compliant design advice, supply, fit, and commission, the fixtures and fittings. We can also, if required, service and maintain it all, so once installed, the toilet continues to remain reliably operational for years after. London Gatwick Airport, Paddington Station, the Trafford Centre and Cadbury World are just a few of the buildings and venues that have already used Total Hygiene for provision of their accessible toilet facilities and Changing Places toilets.”

    The revised Approved Document M compliments BS8300:2009, which had already recommended as good practice the inclusion of Changing Places toilets or similarly equipped rooms. To date, over 400 Changing Places toilets have been installed across the UK, even before they became a ‘desirable’ legaility.

    Total Hygiene is finding many venues are incorporating a Changing Places toilet but further optimising its suitability for as many people as possible by replacing a conventional WC with the company’s Clos-o-Mat ‘wash and dry’ (automatic) toilet. The Clos-o-Mat has in-built douching and drying, so the user- or their carer- does not have to clean with toilet tissue thus optimising hygiene, dignity and independence.

    Tim Gimbert, Cadbury World operations manager explained, “We have often been asked in the past if we have a hoist in any of the toilets, so that led us to install a Changing Places toilet. Further adding the Clos-o-Mat, which goes beyond the specification, means we are accommodating the FULL diversity of visitors. We hope our new toilets will help us win the prestigious Loo of the Year Award in 2013….!”

  • Simple solution to total compliance with washroom requirements

    Ikea Growing numbers of commercial, municipal and retail establishments are responding to the need to be inclusive in their washrooms, reports Total Hygiene, the UK's leading supplier of disabled toileting solutions.

    By law, adequate toilet and washing facilities have to be provided for employees/ users and the needs of people with disabilities have to be considered*. The introduction of BS8300: 2009 which sets out accessibility good practice for buildings to which numbers of the public have access is also having an impact, believes the company.

    "Commercially aware business people, and local government officials, are increasingly acknowledging the need to accommodate disabled people's requirements- through to going to the toilet when away from home," says Robin Tuffley, Total Hygiene marketing manager.

    "There is a trend to provide facilities beyond conventional Document M toilets, to more encompassing hygiene rooms and Changing Places accessible toilets. Research shows that for the average business, disabled customers may already account for up to 20% of the customer base, and that people make a conscious decision NOT to visit somewhere if they believe they cannot go to the toilet in clean and appropriate washrooms. Already, 1 in 6 of our population is registered disabled, and with our ageing population, that figure is only going to increase.

    "Forward-thinking facilities managers are reacting to this when designing new or upgrading washroom facilities, and adopting a more inclusive approach, be it providing equipment such as a hoist, changing bench, height adjustable washbasin, through to a 'wash and dry' toilet."

    Total Hygiene has already put in place a raft of options to help, being the only British company to offer in-house design advice, supply, install, commissioning and importantly servicing, of disabled toileting equipment. Adds Robin, "Get the washroom right, and people will make a conscious decision TO visit your premises. But the washroom needs to be properly maintained so it consistently delivers, and people keep coming back."

    The Malls shopping centre in Basingstoke is a typical example. Peter Gunner, The Malls project manager, explained, "In our extensive public consultation, it was stressed to us the need for proper provision of facilities such as toilets, hence our decision to create new toilets by the lift for optimum access and to include a Changing Places toilet, supplied by Total Hygiene.

    "There is already a Changing Places toilet in the town's Discovery Centre, demonstrating our commitment to meeting the needs of the growing number of disabled people in the UK*; the popularity of that reinforced the need for one to be included in The Malls too, to make our town as accessible as possible, to ensure its continuing vitality and viability."