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  • Portsmouth international port delivers safe harbour for special needs with space to change

    Portsmouth International Port has become the most accessible major sea hub in the UK with the opening of a “life-changing” toilet.

    Sarah & Hadley at Portsmouth Port

    The Port is the first major sea travel hub in the country to open a Space to Change specialist toilet and changing facilit 

    Kalvin Baugh, Ferry Port Manager, said: “One of our frequent travellers Sarah Brisdion- whose son Hadley has Cerebral Palsy and needs the extra equipment of a bench and hoist- made us aware that standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of people with severe disabilities or additional needs. Even more shockingly, that they often have to lie on toilet floors to be changed. We felt very strongly that nobody should have to endure this and so worked closely with Sarah to find a solution.

    Portsmouth Port

    “Because Space to Change enhances existing conventional wheelchair-accessible toilets, rather than being a ‘stand-alone’ facility, we were able to address Sarah’s request without the delay, cost and disruption of significant building work. To our knowledge, no other seaport in the UK can offer its travellers such fully-accessible facilities.”

    Sarah elaborated, “Something as simple as some extra space in a toilet, with a bench and a hoist, is nothing short of life-changing for families like mine. It enables us to use the toilet when out in public – something that most people take for granted.

    “Like a huge number of other children, and adults, with complex needs, my son is faced with the undignified and unhygienic situation of having to lie on toilet floors or spend prolonged periods of time in his own bodily waste, because toilet facilities that also have a bench and hoist are so rarely available. It’s heart-breaking to have to lay somebody you love on a toilet floor to change them. It’s distressing and disgusting for him and really physically difficult for me. And it gets harder, the older he gets. Portsmouth International Port has been incredibly supportive, to ensure that the terminal building was accessible to all.”

  • Rising to the challenge of 21st century learning

    Ysgol Bro Dinefwr ExternalPupils of all abilities are being given every opportunity to be equipped for life, even to personal care, as a result of strategic planning at a new flagship £20m+ ‘super school’.

    Ysgol Bro Dinfewr replaces two former secondary schools in Carmarthenshire, and is part of the Welsh Government’s Schools Challenge Cymru. The new campus is providing bi-lingual education for up to 1200 pupils, and features a dedicated specialist resource for some 50 students with special educational needs.Ysgol Bro Dinefwr Internal

    Whitehead Building Services has fitted out two rooms in the SEN unit and one in the main campus building with fixtures supplied by Clos-o-Mat to enable all pupils, regardless of their needs, to have access to appropriate toilet facilities, in compliance with current accessibility regulations.

    Thus, each of the hygiene suites features a wall-mounted, height-adjustable changing bench, height-adjustable washbasin, privacy screen and WC.

    “We are developing a vibrant learning community and providing the highest quality of education to our pupils. High standards are very important to us, not just in terms of examination performance, but in everything that we do. The hygiene facilities help ensure that pupils’ pastoral needs are addressed properly, and that our students are happy, and well cared for and supported,” observed head teacher Julie Griffiths.

  • Presidential changing places!

    Áras an UachtaráinThe official residence of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin, is now truly fully accessible with the opening of the ultimate in wheelchair-accessible toilets. 

    The new Changing Places facility delivers all the conventional benefits of a wheelchair-accessible toilet, with the added features of more space (12m2), an adult-sized height adjustable changing bench, and ceiling track hoist, to fully accommodate everyone’s personal care needs, especially if they need carer assistance. 

    Supplied by Clos-o-Mat, the biggest provider of such ‘away from home’ accessible facilities, the Changing Places toilet is the first such to be installed in any building in Ireland managed by the Office of Public Works. Its first visitors included a specially invited party from Inclusion Ireland and the Irish Wheelchair Association.

  • Improve safety in social care

    At least one carer or care worker is injured every day through handling yet the risk to all involved could be significantly reduced through installation of appropriate assistive technology.


    Under good practice guidelines, provision for the installation of a hoist system should be made, and, in residential care & nursing homes, 5% of bedrooms should have a fixed track hoist system.

    Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading provider of toileting solutions for disabled and elderly people, now provides a complete fixed track hoist service, from design advice, to supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance.

    “Hoists are a key element of our work in away from home accessible toilet provision,” explained Clos-o-Mat’s Kelvin Grimes. “The expertise we have gained in that sector means we are uniquely positioned to help residential care and nursing homes adapt their premises to optimise safe transfer, making daily tasks safer for clients and workers alike.”

    Manual handling is a major part of any care worker’s role, yet one with a lot of risk if not done properly, as the statistics show: the sector has the highest number of reported handling injuries,” adds Kelvin. “Provided full, appropriate training and risk assessment is undertaken, hoists can be a valuable addition to a care environment, improving safety for all involved.”

  • Changing places riding high

    “You can’t turn people away because you haven’t got a toilet.” 

    Clwyd Riding School CP

    So says Sorrel Taylor, centre manager at Clwyd Special Riding Centre. And she won’t have to turn away anyone now, with the installation of a ‘state-of-the-art’ Changing Places toilet facility for visitors, supplied and installed by Clos-o-Mat as a result of fund-raising activities by the Centre.

    Founded 30 years ago, the Centre provides equine therapy opportunities for children and adults with additional needs. The team of 24 specially-trained ponies and horses, a mechanical horse, 11 staff and over 150 volunteers provide opportunities for visitors to experience time with a horse, ranging from just spending groundwork time with an equine, riding, to carriage driving, show jumping, and hippotherapy. Visitors can come for just a couple of hours, or take advantage of a residential equestrian holiday.

    Clwyd Riding School Horse“Horses mirror our emotions: they offer experimental learning and allow for development in confidence, non verbal communication, self-awareness and overall wellbeing,” explained Sorrel. “We are constantly striving to develop the Centre to be able to offer opportunities for a greater number of individuals. Many of our visitors do need help going to the toilet, so the Changing Places facility is a much anticipated development.”

    Larger than a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet, to give space for the user and up to two carers, the Changing Places also has as standard a hoist and adult-sized height adjustable changing bench. Clwyd Special Riding Centre’s facility also features a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita wash & dry toilet in place of a traditional WC.

    “Including the Clos-o-Mat means all people accessing the Centre will be confident that their needs can be accommodated,” added Sorrel.

  • The price of toilet independence? Less than £1/day…

    Aerolet Tilt With Conventional WCWith continuing discussion over care budgets, use of assistive technology could provide a cost-effective long term solution for many…

    Going to the toilet is one of the most frequent needs for home help. Bathroom alterations are already the most common home adaptation. Independence in the toilet can be delivered, for as little as 75p/day!

    “Less than £1/day is a massive saving against providing a care worker to help someone go to the toilet,” observes Robin Tuffley, marketing manager at Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading provider of enabling toileting solutions. “And how do you even begin to put a price on someone’s feeling of self-worth, independence, and dignity, because they are able to do such an intensely personal and private thing without a stranger’s help?”

    The independence is achieved by simply fitting one of Clos-o-Mat’s Aerolet toilet lifters over the WC- whether a conventional loo or wash & dry unit.

    An Aerolet safely lowers the user onto and raises them off the toilet. It thus eliminates the requirement for a care worker to attend just to undertake that duty, and exposure to risk of injury during the transfer process, for both the carer and client.

  • Adapting to realise vision of optimum independence

    TreloarA vision of creating a better world for children with severe and complex needs is being realised- right through to their personal hygiene.

    The Treloar Trust has completed Vision Treloar’s, a £20m project to create one, nationally recognised, educational and residential centre of expertise for young people, on a single campus.

    The vision has extended through all aspects of the students’ lives- including appropriate equipping of the independent living skills flats purpose-designed to enable them to be independent. Thus, 11 Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita wash & dry toilets have been fitted in some of the flats.

    Unlike similar toilets, the Clos-o-Mat can be personalised- at initial installation and later- to individual needs: over 150,000 permutations of operating mechanisms, support systems, seats, douches, height adjustability exist.

    Treloar’s Facilities Manager Chloe Stoneham explained, “Treloar’s offers much more than a formal education; it adopts a holistic approach to ensure the needs of the whole child can be met on site, and assists them in a longer term programme to take control of their lives and maximising their independence. It enables them to do more for themselves.

    “The training programmes undertaken by students in these flats prepare them for the transition to adulthood, and for many, towards their goal of living in their own homes, independently. The Clos-o-Mat toilets help ensure our students have the ability to maximise their independence with personal hygiene, promoting increased dignity and privacy- important to all, but especially valued by the young people approaching adulthood.”

    Treloar’s Head Occupational Therapist Victoria Pitt added, “We have found the Clos-o-Mats easier to use, and more compatible with a wider range of shower chairs. We have almost 160 students here, all with individual requirements, so we need equipment to be as adaptable as possible. The Clos-o-Mats are user-friendly, not too complicated and can be adjusted to suit individual needs- for example controls can be adapted to the person using them. In our experience, Clos-o-Mats are often the equipment used by students at home.”


  • Go to the toilet to help achieve legislative compliance

    Local authorities can help achieve compliance with the Children & Families Act by going to the toilet…

    Cramlington School

    Under the Act, there is an obligation to ensure integration for children with special needs particularly in relation to their emotional wellbeing, and giving them control over their day-to-day lives. A properly-equipped hygiene room or accessible toilet meets both criteria, for the 1million+ pupils in all levels of education that have special needs1.

    “Everyone goes to the loo on average eight times day,” says Clos-o-Mat hygiene room project manager Kelvin Grimes. “We know from experience what a difference emotionally and psychologically it makes to children of all ages to be able to go to the toilet when they’re at school with little- or no-help, making them feel like everyone else.

    “Putting in a suitable accessible toilet- for example a Palma Vita wash and dry toilet with Rifton paediatric support over- or a full hygiene room with hoist and changing bench means that the special personal care needs of a disabled child are met, now and in the future.”

    Adds Debbie Wylie, principal at Village Primary School in Cramlington that has had a hygiene room supplied and installed by Clos-o-Mat: “We are focusing on individual children’s needs and integrating those into an innovative curriculum. The hygiene room gives us a valuable resource in meeting those needs outside the classroom, and will help current and future pupils develop strong personal skills.”

    1Editor note: figures from Papworth Trust disability facts & figures 2014, and Department for Education SFR 26/2014


  • Give someone a lift to reduce strain on social care provision

    AeroflotAlmost 60% of Britain’s 12million disabled people have an issue with mobility*, requiring carer help to perform basic daily tasks. That demand on social care could be alleviated, and control restored to the individual, by use of appropriate assistive technology.

    So says Clos-o-Mat, the UK’s leading provider of disabled toileting solutions. “Where social carers are helping a client with their personal hygiene, more often than not it is simply to help them on and off the loo. A toilet lift does that job, more safely for all involved, and pays for itself in a matter of months,” says Mark Sadler, Clos-o-Mat Sales Director.

    “The client feels better for having their independence, dignity and control over their daily life enhanced: they can go to the loo as and when they need; the carer(s) has time to help someone else, and are not being subjected to risk of injury from moving and handling. If a person needs a riser recliner chair, the chances are they would benefit from a toilet lift too!”

    * Papworth Trust UK Disability Facts & Figures 2014


  • Go ‘hands-free’ to help obese people with their dignity and independence

    A new report is recommending that more be done to support the 1 in 4 individuals who are already obese. Simultaneously, one medical device supplier to the sector is advising health professionals to be sure the equipment will withstand weight loadings.

    Bariatric Palma

    Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s biggest supplier of toilet equipment for disabled users, is increasingly finding its Palma Vita automatic ‘wash and dry’ toilet being specified because similar equipment cannot tolerate the weight stresses of obese users transferring from a wheelchair or just sitting on the seat. And new clients are supporting the company’s findings.

    “There is a perception that because something is marketed for the bariatric sector, it can cope with almost any weight,” observes Mark Sadler, Clos-o-Mat sales director. “It may in a laboratory test withstand a certain weight placed on it under a controlled environment, but that is not the same as daily usage.”

    Says Barbara West, who has had her bolt-on wash and dry toilet replaced with a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita, ““The bolt-on unit seat kept breaking; I had three seats in three years! The Clos-o-Mat is lovely. It gives me more independence and I haven’t got to worry as I can go to the toilet whenever I like. And my carer and other visitors can use it too. I wish I’d had the Clos-o-Mat a long time ago!”

    Mark Gysling, who bought a Palma Vita for his brother Jody adds, “Jody is a hefty man but like all of us he likes a clean bum!. His size meant it was difficult to reach certain areas of his body. The Clos-o-Mat automatically washes and dries, so personal hygiene is maintained without having to contort the body to use toilet paper.”

    The standard Palma Vita is proven up to 190kg/30 stone- 30% more than any competitive product. Clos-o-Mat’s specialist bariatric seat withstands twice that (360kg/58stone).

    Analysis between the cost of installing a Palma Vita in someone’s home and providing a carer to take them to a commode or toilet shows the Palma pays for itself within three months of installation/commissioning, thereby reducing part of the financial burden on health resources.


  • Future-proofing holistic approach to student needs

    Delivery of high quality education that meets individual needs is being fulfilled in London Borough of Havering through an innovative approach to inclusivity.

    Havering College

    Havering College of Further & Higher Education in Hornchurch has just opened a new hygiene room at its Ardleigh Campus, to compliment existing facilities at its Quarles Campus, Harold Hill, and ensure the College is fully accessible for all students, regardless of their individual requirements. With equipment supplied by the leader in hygiene room provision, Clos-o-Mat, the room features a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita automatic ‘wash and dry’ toilet, drop-down support arms, height adjustable washbasin, mobile changing bench, hoist, screen and shower chair.

    “It looks fantastic,” says College Operations Manager Lesley Cole. “The College’s whole ethos is about removing barriers to quality education, and allowing equal access. The new room means that the needs of a specific student we now have enrolled are met; with the raft of equipment therein, it is a multi-functional room that enables any future students that need them to use appropriate toilet facilities, easily and in comfort.”


  • Changing Places in the UK’s largest forest

    Britain’s largest forest park is now achieving optimum accessibility through its new flagship visitor centre.


    Forestry Commission Scotland has just opened the new, eco-friendly centre at Kirroughtree, the gateway to the Galloway Forest Park. It is the first venue in the area to offer a Changing Places accessible, assisted toilet, supplied by Clos-o-Mat, and installed to address outcomes from the Commission’s equality analysis, which highlighted the need for more toilet accommodation, including that for disabled people.

    “Galloway Forest Park is growing in popularity as a destination: visitor numbers now top 1million a year, increasing at 4% per annum. Provision of a Changing Places toilet makes the whole of Galloway Forest Park and surrounding area accessible to a range of the population we have been unable to cater for,” explains Sarah Wilson Assistant Project Manager for Forestry Commission Scotland. “We want to meet, and exceed, customer expectations with all aspects of the visitor experience.”

    The Changing Places toilet is open throughout Kirroughtree Visitor Centre opening hours and needs no special access requirements.It is just one element of an enhanced visitor experience at the Centre. New showers, changing facilities, catering, better differentiation between mountain bike and walking trails, and a children’s play park have also been implemented.


  • Delivering dignity & independence

    “If I could, I would put one in every bathroom”: care home manager Amanda O’Neil is talking about a toilet- but one that goes beyond being a simple WC.

    Eschol House

    Eshcol House near Truro, the 28-bed residential personal and nursing care home she runs, has installed a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita automatic shower (wash and dry) toilet. The unit has been strategically located in the communal downstairs bathroom adjacent to the residents’ main day room. This optimises access by residents, and removes the need for- and time commitment of- care staff to take them back up to their rooms when toilet care is required.

    Eshcol House chose to add a ‘soft touch’ operating pad, to enable as many clients as possible to benefit, regardless of their manual dexterity/ strength. The soft touch pad is one of several accessories that enable the Palma Vita to be tailored to suit individual, and/or changing needs.

    “Clients who buy into it, love it, and it becomes their preference,” observes Amanda. “They comment on the fact they feel it gives them increased independence, and restores their dignity, instead of the emotional and psychological devastation of having to have someone clean them and deal with a very intimate issue.

    “Our carers can spend more, qualitative time to our clients, as they are not spending as much time on bathroom duties. I would have one in every bathroom and en-suite if I could…..

    “When we were assessed by the Care Quality Commission, they said it was a forward-thinking, refreshing idea. It is now part of our standard induction process for staff and appropriate clients, and I encourage visitors to try it too!”


  • Sit back and relax….

    There is more to choosing toileting aids for disabled or elderly people than is expected, as users across the country are finding out…

    Palma Vita

    Clos-o-Mat, the UK’s largest provider of disabled toileting for in and out of the home, is reporting an increase in sales of its Palma Vita automatic shower (wash and dry) toilet. The increase is due largely to people finding that alternative shower toileting aids do not meet their needs: in one instance, the other aid had been fitted only days!

    “The majority of these cases involve larger people- not necessarily obese- using ‘bolt-on’ substitutes, which are a toilet seat with an in-built wash facility fixed at the back, where the seat is fixed to the WC pan.” elaborates Mark Sadler, Clos-o-Mat sales director.

    “They are saying to us that the design of the unit is such that they are then positioned too far forward over the seat opening. The seat aperture is by necessity smaller than that on a conventional WC anyway, because of the location of the unit mechanics. So the douche may not clean them properly, they feel precariously balanced on the toilet, or are uncomfortable. They are also concerned that because the unit is just bolted onto the toilet pan, the fixings may not withstand prolonged regular use, especially when side transferring- assuming the unit fits properly over the porcelain.

    “With any shower toilet, its primary function is top wash properly. Otherwise, the whole point of the unit- to enable to user to toilet, and be clean afterwards, with optimum independence and hygiene/ limited or no carer input- is negated! The amount of water used by the douche, and thus the effectiveness of the wash, varies hugely from manufacturer to manufacturer too. We go to the toilet on average eight times a day, so the right choice really is important to anyone who needs carer assistance.”

    To help clarify the considerations in choosing a shower toilet, Clos-o-Mat has produced a white paper- Guide to Specification of an Automatic Shower Toilet. The white paper is available free to download here.



  • Changing Places to come up to scratch for accessibility

    The UK tourism industry needs to ‘spend a penny’ to become more accessible, according to latest research.

    The Lookout

    A new survey of the top 100 tourist attractions found that 19% had fewer than 1 disabled toilet/100 visitors, and over half had fewer than 2 suitable toilets/100 visitors*. And only 1 of the top 5 venues has a Changing Places facility, for people who need the help of a carer to toilet. Yet over 20% of Britain’s population is registered disabled, with a spending power in excess of £80billion.

    “We go to the toilet on average eight times a day, so appropriate toilet facilities are vital for anybody. People make a conscious decisionnotto visit somewhere if they believe there are not appropriate, clean toilets,” says Robin Tuffley, marketing manager at Clos-o-Mat, the UK’s leading supplier of disabled toileting solutions. “Venues are therefore potentially missing out on a significant number of visitors by not properly catering for disabled visitors- and that includes appropriate toilets, be they standard accessible WCs, wheelchair accessible toilets, or Changing Places facilities.

    “Changing Places toilets- which mean a carer has the space and equipment to change their loved one rather than do so on the toilet floor- continue to grow in popularity. More than 600 are now open across the UK- even Morrisons supermarket now has one! The Look Out Discovery Centre in Bracknell Forest won England’s Loo of the Year Award for its Changing Places toilet, and says the facility has a beneficial impact on the venue’s popularity.”

    To help venues improve their accessible toilet provision, Clos-o-Mat, has produced white papers- ‘Provision of Accessible Toilets in the Tourism Industry’, and ‘Considerations & Specification of Changing Places accessible toilets’- that cover all relevant and current legislation and “good practice’ design considerations on accessible toilet provision in tourist attractions. The white papers can be downloaded FOC here. 

  • Achieve best value and deliver client satisfaction

    Housing providers could achieve better value, and deliver greater client satisfaction, simply by adopting a ‘one stop shop’ approach to some adaptations.

    Housing Services

    Latest figures* reveal that the average adaptation costs over £5000*, but for less than half that, the majority* of those homes could be suitably adapted, and the adaptation maintained, through the approach offered by Clos-o-Mat.

    The company is finding more and more housing providers choosing its equipment, for the long-term savings and peace of mind.

    “According to the latest English Housing Survey Household Report, toilet adaptations represent over ¾million of the relevant households,” explained Clos-o-Mat sales director Mark Sadler. “More and more, we are being given orders for automatic shower toilets and toilet lifters because housing providers are experiencing other equipment does not work for the client, or the back-up is not there when there is a problem. We get the orders because our equipment meets the client’s needs, and because of its reliability/fitness for purpose, and our trustworthiness and ability in provision of servicing and maintenance.

    “Occupational therapists and grants officers know that if there is a problem, one quick call or email to us, and it will be sorted. That saves them time and money. There is the additional saving in needing little, or no, alternative provision whilst the issue is sorted. There is the intangible benefit of the client being ‘inconvenienced’ for as short a time as possible.  The cost of just 1 hour’s care a day is in excess of £5000 per annum+…twice the cost of providing the toilet for the client’s lifetime, and annual servicing and maintenance.”

  • Chat about accessible toilet provision

    Whether there are enough public, accessible and assisted toilets is an ongoing debate- one which goes online on September 18th.

    That day, between 11.00am and 3.00pm, Clos-o-Mat, the UK's leading provider of toilet solutions for disabled people, will be hosting a chat on Twitter -♯COMChat- to discuss the whole issue- the number, quality, location, specification, equipment...

    "Only this week, it was in the news that public toilets stimulate the economy," says Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager. "Disabled people account for 20+% of the average business' customer base, but it is accepted that disabled people make a conscious decision NOT to visit somewhere if they believe there are not appropriate toilet facilities. One in 6 of the UK population is registered disabled and therefore likely to use an accessible toilet. At least 1/4m people need assisted, rather than accessible, toilets.

    "We know from personal experience that people can become prisoners in their own home, because they do not think they will be able to toilet in an appropriate environment when away from home. Through the Twitter chat, we hope to raise the profile of the debate, enable people to learn what is wanted, where, and to drive forward appropriate accessible, assisted public toilet provision."

    Clos-o-Mat is the country's biggest supplier of accessible toileting in and out of home, from a domestic WC through to an assisted Changing Places toilet and hygiene room. The company sponsors, which enables disabled people to plan trips away from home, hosts a fully searchable map for assisted toilet sites on its here, and is the only company in its field to provide a full project management and aftercare service, in-house.

  • Simple Changing Places

    Specification of, and architectural drawings for, ‘state-of-the-art’ accessible toilets is simplified with a new facility.

    Changing Places Bathroom

    The National Building Specification (NBS) service has used expertise from Clos-o-Mat, the UK’s leading disabled toileting solutions provider, to add a complete raft of details for Changing Places accessible toilets to its range of specification products.

    Now, all equipment required for a compliant Changing Places hygiene room can be ‘drag and dropped’ from the online resource, ensuring the specification is completely accurate. A Changing Places toilet/hygiene room is a new recommendation under Building Regulations, and delivers more space and more equipment than conventional Document M type accessible toilets.

    “Specification is an essential part of the design process. A badly written specification can cause major problems for every member of the project team, and can cost the client a great deal of money. A well written specification can enhance project delivery and save money,” explains Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager. “We are increasingly recognized as the experts in the provision of Changing Places facilities and similar hygiene rooms, so are best positioned to provide all the technical detailing, CAD drawing etc to incorporate into a project. With the new facility, those details can be quickly and easily inserted into plans as required.” 

    The NBS service compliments Clos-o-Mat’s comprehensive range of support for Changing Places toilets, including a white paper available for download here, and a complete project management service to ensure a smoothly executed and compliant Changing Places facility. The company has a proven track record on the supply of fully accessible toilets, including many of the 500+ Changing Places facilities already installed across the country. 

  • ‘State of the art’ personal hygiene…

    A vision to deliver ‘state of the art’ facilities for children with physical and neurological impairments (PNI) is now being fulfilled- with help from Clos-o-Mat.

    Lonsdale School

    Hertfordshire County Council commissioned Balfour Beatty to build the new Marriotts & Lonsdale combined school complex, the latter being an all-age school with integral residential department for 84 disabled pupils, which delivers ‘excellent care, guidance and support [to] enable students to become confident, independent young people’*.

    To ensure Lonsdale pupils’ hygiene needs were achieved, wherever they were in the school building, Balfour Beatty turned to Clos-o-Mat to deliver a single-source, comprehensive toileting/hygiene solution. En-suite bathrooms in the flats, accessible toilets and a hygiene room have all been kitted out with equipment supplied by Clos-o-Mat, including 15 of its Palma Vita automatic ‘wash and dry’ toilets, 32 washbasins and 4 shower seats.

    The Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita wash and dry toilet looks like, and can be used as, a conventional WC, but additionally features in-built douching and drying. The features mean the user does not have to wipe clean- or be cleaned by a carer- thus improving independence, hygiene, and dignity.

    “An element of the original mission statement was that the project enabled the development of state-of-the-art facilities for PNI students and their families, who come from all over the county to benefit from the learning experience provided at Lonsdale.” explained Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Project Manager Steve Rowland. “Clos-o-Mat toilets were specified from the start due to the existing Lonsdale school having some and having had good experience with them, We identified Clos-o-Mat as the experts in this kind of thing; the company worked closely with us and supported us throughout to overcome any issues.”

    Adds Mark Sadler, Clos-o-Mat sales director, “We ALL go to the toilet on average eight times a day. School building guidelines (BB102) specifically state that toilet fixtures and fittings ‘should…help pupils develop personal care skills’. As Lonsdale has found from past experience, the Clos-o-Mat toilet does make a significant contribution towards that aim, and gives improved hygiene.”

    The Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita is the UK’s biggest selling ‘wash and dry’ (automatic) toilet, and the only one of its kind developed specifically for the disabled. Clos-o-Mat has supplied over 40,000 Clos-o-Mats, some of which are still in daily use 30 years after first being fitted. The company is the only supplier in the sector that can offer in-house design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and service of its equipment.

  • Lifting quality of life

    Arthritis and osteoporosis sufferer Heather O’Brien is attaining new heights of independence- through a unique toilet.

    Heather O'Brien

    Heather, from Inverurie, has had her conventional WC replaced- on recommendation from her occupational therapist- with a Clos-o-Mat Lima Lift height adjustable automatic “wash and dry’ toilet.

    The Clos-o-Mat Lima Lift looks like- and can be used as- a conventional WC, but includes in-built douching and drying, simply triggered by pressure on the flush pads, eliminating the need for manual cleansing with toilet tissue. Uniquely, it is the only ‘wash and dry’ toilet that is fully height adjustable, enabling the seat to be dropped to as low as 430mm or as high as 730mm via a finger-tip controlled infra-red remote.

    “When it first arrived, I thought ‘what the heck do I do with this?’. Now I think it’s fantastic, brilliant!” says Heather.

    “Before my osteoporosis, I was only 4ft 8ins(1.4m), now I am 4ft 3ins (1.27m). I was really struggling to go to the bathroom. Because the Lima Lift can be easily lowered by finger-tip control it means I can easily get on and off the toilet without help, setting it at a perfect height for me.

    “And with my arthritis, I struggle to grasp toilet paper: the washing and drying facilities mean I know I am properly clean, again without having to get my partner to help me. He doesn’t need the cleaning benefits of the toilet, and was very dubious to start with, as was I, but he uses them now too!”

    The Clos-o-Mat Lima Lift is manufactured in the UK by Clos-o-Mat, and compliments the fixed height Palma Vita wash and dry toilet. Since Clos-o-Mats were first introduced into the UK 50 years ago, over 40,000 have been installed in domestics, public and commercial environments across the country, many of which are still in daily use 30 years after first being fitted.