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  • Smoothing the way for disabled families

    “Customers love it, they think it’s fantastic!”

    Velvet Coaster

    Not the usual feedback on a toilet, but that is the response from people visiting JD Wetherspoon’s showcase pub restaurant The Velvet Coaster in Blackpool, which opened just a year ago. “It’s used daily, definitely worth putting in,” says manager Rebecca White about the Changing Places assisted accessible toilet. She adds, “Customers tell us they came because they knew we have the Changing Places- we’re the only pub restaurant in Blackpool to have one.”

    JD Wetherspoon is the first national pub chain to provide Changing Places toilet facilities, which give disabled people more space and additional equipment, including a ceiling track hoist and adult-sized height adjustable changing bench. Now, JD Wetherspoon commissions leading disabled toilet provider Closomat to provide the resource in its refurbishments where space allows.

    “Potentially up to 15million people and their carers, families benefit from larger wheelchair-accessible toilets with a bench and hoist,” explains Closomat’s away from home toilet project manager Kelvin Grimes. “Because the user either needs physical help, changing or extra space, conventional wheelchair-accessible toilets aren’t suitable; the options are stark- to cut their trip out short, sit in their waste, lie on a toilet floor to be changed, or not go out at all.”

  • Table-ing the options on compliance

    Spending just a few £ more on a refurbishment could bring £000s in additional profit, and increase traffic to an outlet or venue.

    Space to Change Typical Layout

    So claim a group of campaigners, who are petitioning retail SMEs, service providers, architects and designers to adopt an inclusive approach- without needing to allocate any additional floor space.

    The Space to Change campaign has been developed to extend the useability of many existing wheelchair-accessible toilets, and meet the needs of potentially millions of people1 who need help with their personal hygiene. Space to Change simply needs existing wheelchair-accessible toilets to also include an adult-sized changing bench, and a hoist. The campaign is hosted by online special needs parenting resource, and supported by Closomat. 

    “You wouldn’t change a baby on a toilet floor when away from home, but when your loved one is no longer a baby, that is what you are faced with if they have special needs with their personal hygiene,” explains firefly community manager Claire Smyth. “I’ve lost count of the times we’ve had to abandon a day out because my son Daniel needed to be changed. There have been many occasions when a dirty public toilet floor was my only option. Yet our custom could have been kept, and our money earned, if suitable facilities had been in place.

    “Under current Building Regulations, many buildings should already have the space for an adult changing table: all we need is that they fit the table, and a hoist- which doesn’t need any extra space- to help us safely manoeuvre. 

    Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013 requires buildings to have accessible toilet facilities; if space is an issue, then the one toilet that should be provided is a unisex wheelchair-accessible one. Further, in large complexes, that facility should be large enough in the first place to incorporate an adult changing bench.

  • Get better use of care budgets by using technology

    The strain on social care budgets could be eased, and bed-blocking alleviated, by using technology to enable elderly people. And it can deliver more cost-effective use of available resources.


    So claims Closomat, Britain’s largest manufacturer and toileting assistive technology.

    “We almost constantly have reports from Health Services, Care Quality Commission etc about the pressure on social care services, and the lack of nurses, care workers. If it’s a medium to long-term requirement, it is not only more cost-efficient, but better in terms of mental well-being for the recipient, to provide equipment to help them at home rather than further stretch staff resources. Better Outcomes reports have proven tine and again the benefits, but there seems an inability to transfer the theory into practice on a national scale,” observes Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager.

    Palma Vita

    “If someone does need help to go to the loo, shower, it costs a minimum £7.20/hour in wages alone for a care worker to visit: just wages, before any of the other staffing costs are taken into account! That’s every day, 365 days a year…That cost is covered in a year- or less- by providing a toilet lifter to help them get on and off the loo, or a wash & dry toilet, a shower seat, a body drier. And how do you pout a price on someone’s feeling of independence, their dignity?”

    Closomat’s argument is proven in practice: Rose Murphy needed an operation, and was being kept in hospital because of difficulty organising home care for her. She told staff she already had a Closomat Palma Vita wash & dry toilet, explained its benefits and as a result was released home weeks earlier than initially envisaged, releasing the bed.

    “It’s not the answer in every case, where it is appropriate, surely it makes good sense?” asks Robin. “If care support is needed for personal hygiene for a year at least, let’s look to making wider use of adaptations to deliver a solution and ease some of the strain at least on budgets and workforce provision.”

  • ‘Rolls-royce’ of toilets opens pub doors to all

    Sandford House ExternalA ‘Rolls-Royce” of accessible toilets has opened its doors, at a Cambridgeshire pub.

    JD Wetherspoon has completed a £2.8m upgrade and refurbishment of Sandford House, and the adjacent George Hall, in Huntingdon, to create its new pub restaurant and 20+bedroomed hotel. Once the home of Charles Sandford Windover, coachbuilder for royalty and Rolls-Royce, the venue reflects that history in its décor.

    Sandford House Internal

    And the venue is fully accessible, through to a Changing Places assisted wheelchair-accessible toilet facility, conveniently located just off the main bar area and accessed via RADAR key.

    “You could say a Changing Places is the Rolls-Royce of toilets,” says Robin Tuffley, marketing manager for the toilet facility’s supplier and installer, Closomat. “It goes above and beyond what a conventional wheelchair accessible toilet provides.Without a Changing Places, there isn’t the space or equipment required by up to 5million people who need extra help with their intimate care. For many, their options without a Changing Places are either having to remain in a soiled nappy, lie on a toilet floor to be changed.”

    Adds Paul Gillings, Wetherspoon’s development manager, said, “Pubs traditionally are the focal point of any community. As a company we aim to ensure that all members of a community, including those with disabilities, can access and enjoy what we have to offer.”

  • Hidden housing- solutions for accessible bathrooms

    New research has revealed almost 2million people have unmet accessible housing needs, giving providers an opportunity to adjust their offering to meet demand.

    Accessible Bathroom

    The report, by Habinteg and Papworth Trust, is recommending developers to review their products to deliver solutions that enable maintenance of independence in mainstream housing. Closomat can give a single source to address prolonged independence, at least in the bathroom…..

    “When home adaptations are undertaken, the bathroom is the most common room in which they are needed,” explains Closomat marketing manager Robin Tuffley. “Creating an appropriate bathroom, that includes, or can easily accommodate, certain accessibility features, from the design & build stage is therefore very relevant.

    “Things like level access shower, fittings that can be adjusted vertically or laterally, texture and colour, can all play a part. And under Lifetime Homes criteria, there should be an accessible toilet at entry level, bathrooms should be designed to be accessible, ideally adjacent to the main bedroom, and the structure should be of having a ceiling track hoist retro-fitted.!”

  • Transport-ing toilets of the future to increase travel for all

    When travelling anywhere of any distance, the chances are a toilet break will be needed. To help designers of transport hubs- from bus stations to ferry terminals and airports- get it right, a new white paper has been produced.

    Port Talbot Station

    Closomat has published the white paper, “Provision of Accessible Toilets in Public Transport Sites” to ensure that due consideration, as far as possible, is given to everyone’s needs, alongside Regulatory and ‘best practice’ guidelines.

    The guide covers the affects of Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013, plus all other appropriate guidelines, to create the most accessible toilet- Changing Places- provision at transport hubs.

    “The modes of transport adults with an impairment report to use ‘less than would like’ are local buses (18%), and long distance trains (18%)*1. elaborates Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager.

    “A significant proportion of the 1 in 6 people in the UK who are registered disabled cannot use conventional wheelchair accessible toilets, because they need help, from a carer and/or specialist equipment. They need Changing Places toilets.

    “The white paper aims to provide a simple reference point for providers, sparing them having to wade through reams of complicated documentation to ensure compliance, especially with regard to the Changing Places.”

    The white paper can be downloaded free of charge at here. The website also has available for free download other sector-specific white papers, plus all relevant CAD drawings.

  • ‘Life-changing’ assistive technology raises independence

    Andrew Watkins“The term ‘life-changing’ is probably over-used nowadays but in this case it is accurate”: so says Andrew Watkins, talking about his toilet lifter.

    He elaborates, “My Aerolet Vertical Toilet Lift has changed my life as it has given me back my independence, privacy and dignity. I can now manage all my toileting needs on my own.”

    The Aerolet toilet lift can fit over most WCs. It gently raises and lowers the user over the lavatory. The unit replicates the natural motion of sitting down and standing up, automatically and smoothly lowering the user over and onto the toilet and then raising them to standing whilst ensuring their centre of gravity and thus balance remains stable.

    Andrew Watkins Loo

    The Aerolet’s operation is all controlled by the push of a button via integral arm supports, which simultaneously provide additional bracing for the user.

    Andrew, aged 42, from Portadown, cannot stand from a seated position without assistance, in his case as a result of muscle wasting disorder, Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type III. He already uses various lifting aids, including a vertically rising recliner chair, office chair and bed.

    For Andrew’s intimate care, his Occupational Therapist had devised a modified, raised toilet frame to help him, but it was unsafe, and had to be removed every time anyone else needed to use the toilet.

    “With my disability I need my legs locked straight to stand- I need a seat height of 81cm to get my legs straight and stand unaided. With the toilet frame I had been using, I kept getting stuck, and needing help, and even fell off it! I needed to find an alternative. I came across the Closomat website searching online and the extensive information there helped me confirm the Aerolet was well-suited to my requirements, as it is able to go higher than I need.

    “Closomat was able to demonstrate it at my home; after trying it just once, I knew it was perfect and ordered one straight away! It is probably the best piece of equipment I have ever purchased to help with my daily needs- and I have purchased a lot! It means a normal part of daily living is made so much easier and safer,” he says.

  • Lifting quality of complex needs care

    Short break and respite care for people with complex needs is being lifted to new heights.Woodleigh

    Catalyst Choices, a social enterprise company created by staff formerly at Warrington Borough Council, has, in partnership with the Council, extended and refurbished its Woodleigh residential care home to provide bespoke short breaks and residential care for people with learning difficulties. A key element of the new facility is a fully accessible bathroom- complete with a Clos-o-Mat Lima Lift height adjustable wash/dry toilet.

    “We wanted the bathroom, in line with the service we provide at Woodleigh, to be as good as it could possibly be; our ethos is providing personalised care and support we would be proud to give our own familiies,” explained Catalyst Choices managing director David Osborne. “We already had a Clos-o-Mat toilet at our day centre in Gorse Covert, and wanted its benefits at Woodleigh.

    “The Clos-o-Mat compliments the other assistive technology we are incorporating in the accessible bathroom to achieve optimum intimate personal care and cleanliness. The bathroom further includes a height adjustable bath, changing bed, and a ceiling track hoist- the latter operates not only in the bathroom but throughout, helping our carers move clients safely round the bathroom, and throughout, into bedrooms.”


  • ‘Outstanding’ special needs provision now extends to personal care

    A 30+% increase in pupil numbers has prompted a college to further enhance its level of care, with state-of-the-art hygiene facilities.Elms Bank

    Elms Bank Specialist Arts College in Bury is already ‘on the map’, being a national teaching school and rated ‘outstanding’ for its secondary education provision for young people with complex learning and physical disabilities. As a result, pupil numbers have continued to grow over the past few years, from the original 160 up to 210. To appropriately accommodate students, it has opened a new, two-storey extension, ensuring accessibility throughout via use of latest technology.

    The technology extends to pupils’ personal care, with the inclusion in the new building of three hygiene rooms, with equipment supplied by Clos-o-Mat and installed by Saunders & Taylor.

    Each of the rooms is equipped with a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita wash & dry toilet with touch-sensitive operating switch, electrically height-adjustable basin, full room hoist, plus a shower with shower seat or changing bench.

    “Accessibility is paramount at Elms Bank, and we have made the most of advancements in technology – state-of-the-art lifts and hoists, automatic door assists, and push-button and sensory activation to allow everyone to access the entire, and develop,” explained Elms Bank Business & Resource Manager Joshua Beaver-Gallagher.

    “All of our students require various levels of special care re hygiene, yet many have or want the independence to care for themselves in everyday life. By providing the hygiene rooms, students have the necessary facilities for their dignity to be maintained and respected, with as much or as little help as required. No two students are the same; the flexibility the Clos-o-Mat provides allows our students to maintain dignity and independence whilst using the hygiene room, more than a conventional WC would.”

  • ‘Fantastic’ personal care

    Liz Farrellys LooA positive mental attitude is helping one Multiple Sclerosis sufferer adapt to her changing needs- to the extent where even her toilet is ‘fantastic’.

    Liz Farrelly, 46, from Paisley, was officially diagnosed with primary progressive MS a decade ago. Her independence has deteriorated over time, but the unique ability of her toilet- a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita- to be adapted to her changing needs has meant that she can at least still undertake her personal toilet care with as little help as possible.

    “My Occupational Therapist suggested the Clos-o-Mat back in 2009, as he felt it would give me more independence, as I was still on my feet then,” explained Liz. “It has been absolutely fantastic.

    “We’ve been able to been adapt it to cope with my needs as they change. Now, I can’t use my legs, and I have a catheter. A hoist enables my carers to transfer me to the toilet, the Clos-o-Mat’s integrated arms help me balance on the loo on my own, a touch sensitive switch means I can operate it with my feet, and the horse-shoe seat and spray help me properly position myself to deal with my catheter. I feel clean and safe.

    “Life’s too short, you have to look at the good in the world: as a little girl said to me the other day, I still have the freedom to see and do so many things, including eat ice cream! And with the Clos-o-Mat I can go to the loo on my own. I’m a lucky lady.”

  • Lift business

    Service providers can simultaneously elevate their offering and improve safety for carers and their charges.

    Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre

    Clos-o-Mat, already established as Britain’s leading supplier of accessible washrooms for the thousands of people who need the help of a carer, now has a range of easy-to-use lifting/transfer equipment to optimise their safety and dignity. As importantly, all the equipment is available with full technical back-up, and service & maintenance support.

    “In effect, almost 10 carers every day are injured through ‘people handling’(1),” says Kelvin Grimes, Clos-o-Mat’s project manager for its out of home facilities. “With our increasing numbers of elderly and obese people, the figure is only set to increase. Yet for a comparatively nominal investment, which can be offset as capital equipment, a hoist could be fitted. It would take up no additional space in the WC compartment, and would improve safety of all involved.

    “Importantly, properly publicised, it would increase business: up to 20% of a typical business’ customer base is disabled; people make a conscious decision to visit- or not- places based on their knowledge/opinion of the toilet facilities provided; they, via social media, do discuss where is especially accessible/disabled-friendly. And our research highlights that for the majority of carers who need to physically manouevre their loved one, a hoist is their first choice in away from home personal care assistive technology, ”

    Clos-o-Mat’s ceiling track (X/Y) hoists can carry up to 200kg (31stone), and can, at the push of a button, be moved to wherever needed in the room, precisely positioning the person where the carer requires. The hoists are designed to support the user as needed, and be simple for the carer to transfer.

    Clos-o-Mat not only supplies the ceiling track hoist systems, but can provide comprehensive support, including design, installation, plus after-sales service and maintenance.

    Full details of Clos-o-Mat raft of ceiling track hoist solutions and support services are available from its national team of sales managers, or online at, under the accessible bathrooms button.

  • Lifetime adaptability

    Best value in personal care provision can be achieved in part by heading to the toilet…..

    Marilyn Carr Palma

    If they need help, going to the bathroom is one of the most fraught daily activities for anyone with a disability, be they child or adult. It also places high demand on carers, because of lifting and handling considerations. Yet it is something we all do, on average eight times a day.

    Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s top supplier of disabled toileting solutions, maintains care providers can attain better value in many cases by looking at the evolution of a person’s needs, and basing judgements and selection of assistive technology on ‘lifetime evolution’ of the user’s needs.

    Clos-o-Mat’s Palma Vita wash & dry toilet is the only unit of its kind that can be adapted with a range of accessories after initial installation. Over 150,000 permutations exist. Thus the toilet can evolve with the user’s changing needs, and reduce or negate the need for care provision.

    “Often, decisions are based on what the specifier thinks is right, on what is immediately in front of them. What the user needs may be something quite different, now and in the long term. Over time, the user’s needs change, as they grow, age or their condition deteriorates. To do a home adaptation, then have to completely change it in a couple of years time is costly financially and psychologically,” warns Mark Sadler, Clos-o-Mar sales director. “Yet a little thought in selection of equipment might, in the future, require only tiny adjustments that cost pennies in comparison, and minimise physical and emotional disruption for the user.”

    Pensioner Marilyn Carr who was born with no arms is a prime example: she originally had a Clos-o-Mat without any accessories, so she could go to the toilet without carer assistance. She has developed bowel issues, meaning she is spending longer sat on the toilet, and so sometimes leans back whilst sat. To avoid the toilet’s flushing, douching and drying mechanism being triggered, her local authority, at her request on the advice of Clos-o-Mat’s service engineer, has added a soft-touch operating switch to her Palma Vita.

    “I don’t know how I would cope without my Clos-o-Mat,” she says.

    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.

  • Plan ahead to avoid being caught short…

    Local councils, shopping centres, tourist attractions are urged to act first to avoid being in breach of equality laws.


    Tony Clough, leading disability campaigner, is clarifying the legalities re provision of Changing Places assisted accessible toilets in locations to which the public have access.

    “You wouldn’t change a baby on the floor of a public loo. All we want is the same dignity, hygiene and respect for children and adults who need a carer to help them toilet. Otherwise we have to lie our loved one on the toilet floor,” says Tony.

    “There is a misconception that Changing Places are only for major venues, tourist attractions. They are needed more widely-spread. They are as important- if not more so- in shopping centres, town centres- the places where we visit regularly- or rather, cannot go to, because there are no suitable toilets!”

    Under latest Building Regulations, Changing Places the ‘bigger and better’ wheelchair-accessible toilets are ‘desirable’; under the Equality Act, which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act, providers are required to make reasonable adjustments to the built environment to avoid situations where a disabled person would be at a ‘substantial’ disadvantage, BEFORE the person experiences difficulties. Potentially, up to 3million people in Britain would use Changing Places toilets1.

    “To me, lying on a toilet floor is a substantial disadvantage,” adds Tony. “Giving a bit more space and providing a couple of pieces of equipment is not an unreasonable request.”

    Clos-o-Mat, the UK’s leading provider of disabled toilet solutions in and out of home (including Changing Places), reinforces Tony’s point from a practical, facilities management aspect. Says Clos-o-Mat Changing Places project manager Kelvin Grimes. “We know from feedback at venues we have already installed, that visitor numbers increase, and people stay longer (and therefore spend more) because there are suitable toilets.”

    To help business and service providers go ahead with installing a Changing Places toilet, Clos-o-Mat has a raft of advisory white papers, plus technical and support material including CAD blocks, typical layouts and specifications available for free here.

  • Changing a toilet brings independence and dignity

    Ellis Family BathroomA Leeds family is finding an improved quality of life with greater independence and dignity- by changing its toilet.

    The Ellis’ grown children both suffer from Muscular Dystrophy, the elder being diagnosed only two years ago. As part of significant home adaptation work, the family has had a wetroom installed by Leeds Council, complete with Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita automatic shower (wash and dry) toilet.

    To enable both of the children to live daily life with as much independence- and therefore privacy and dignity- as possible, the Clos-o-Mat has been specified with accessories of integrated drop-down arm supports, twin douche spray, and touch-sensitive hand switch.

    “It’s a brilliant machine,” says their mother. “The height of the Clos-o-Mat is perfect for both of them, and the support arms and switch enable them to use it without any help from me. My elder child in particular, having contracting another illness, and would rely on me to help with toileting needs. It has made a huge difference to all of us! The children don’t need my help when they want to go to the toilet. They feel much more independent, and it’s nicer for them to have that privacy.”

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  • Access all areas at LG Arena

    One of the UK’s largest multi-purpose arenas is now truly delivering access to all areas-with the opening of a new state of the art disabled toilet.

    LG Arena

    The Birmingham venue has had a ‘Changing Places’ assisted accessible toilet on its ‘wish list’ for some years, to compliment a similar toilet in the main exhibition halls. Now the wish has become a reality, and is exceeding expectations and requirements…

    Strategically located on the West Side concourse by the disabled ramp to Block 15, the toilet- supplied and installed by the expert in the field, Clos-o-Mat- incorporates Changing Places standard equipment of a hoist and adult-sized height adjustable changing bench. It further includes a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita automatic wash and dry toilet: whilst it can be used as a conventional WC, the Palma Vita has in-built douching and drying to eliminate the need for the user or carer to wipe clean with toilet tissue.

    The Changing Places toilet compliments possibly the most comprehensive accessible toilet provision in a public venue- the LG Arena has a further 11 conventional wheelchair-accessible toilets, plus larger stalls in the main public toilets for ambulant disabled people, and even a wheelchair-accessible dressing room with shower back stage.

    Emma Ball, project manager for the Changing Places toilet at LG Arena, observed, “The Changing Places toilet increases our capability to accommodate everyone’s needs. It’s been on our ‘wish list’ for a while, so it is great to now have the funding and be able to open it. We know from customer feedback on the one already open in the main NEC complex that the facility will be appreciated and used by our disabled visitors.”

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  • Holistic approach to toilet needs eases transition from home to school

    Daniel TennantA young boy who was born with upper limb deficiency is finding his transition from home to school as easy as possible- in part due to the school’s attitude towards his toileting needs.

    Daniel Tennant, aged 5, already has a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita automatic  (wash and dry) toilet, with a Rifton paediatric support over, at his home in Bathgate, West Lothian. His local primary school, Windyknowe, took the approach that, to feel like all his fellow pupils when he started school this term, and be as independent as possible, he needed similar there too.

    Now, the same equipment has been installed at Windyknowe Primary School by Clos-o-Mat, and will be serviced and maintained by the company annually.

    “Daniel’s left arm stops above his elbow and his right has a very small forearm with three non-functioning fingers, so the Clos-o-Mat gives him toilet independence at home and at school,” explains Daniel’s mum Stephanie.  “Windyknowe has a reputation for collaborative working and using innovative approaches: the school has been fantastic in easing Daniel’s transition. As a result, he is enjoying school and feels like everyone else as the Clos-o-mat allows him to go to the toilet on his own, the same as everyone else.”

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  • Total Hygiene solution to helping achieve social model of disability

    Anne HeyRemoving the barriers that restrict independence for disabled people is made easier, at least in the bathroom, through options available from Clos-o-Mat.

    The company’s Palma Vita looks like, and can be used as, a conventional toilet, but has additional, integrated facilities which wash and dry the user instead of them wiping with paper. Its delivery of a consistent, efficient process gives greater cleanliness forall users, regardless of impairment, and can eliminate the need for carer assistance.

    Thus The Palma Vita gives choice, independence and control for the disabled user- all key elements of the social model of disability. And, for care providers, it delivers better value for money than provision of a carer to attend to their personal hygiene needs.

    “The social model of disability is all about removing barriers, enabling disabled people to be independent, with choice and control over their own lives.,” says Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-mat marketing manager. “That is also what we as a company are all about: giving people, in one area of their lives, the ability to have freedom, dignity, and independence.

    “We go to the toilet on average eight times a day: reliance on a carer to help is a barrier that restricts their choice. The cost of installing a Palma Vita is about a third of the cost of paying for a carer for just a year, to attend that person whilst they go to the toilet.. And what price for the huge, positive, psychological benefit for anyone who thus regains control and independence? We wouldn’t think twice about putting in a ramp to enable someone in a wheelchair to access a building, yet they go to the toilet much more often!”

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  • Hands-free toileting for reduced contamination risk

    COMRegardless of how thorough staff are in ensuring their clients wash their hands after toileting, the chances are there may be faecal deposits still under finger nails etc.

    That poses a potential risk when the client then touches anything- a chair, biscuit, carer, friend.

    The most effective solution is to avoid hand:body contact when toileting. Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading supplier of toilet solutions for elderly and disabled people, manufactures the brand-leading Palma Vita automatic wash and dry toilet. With its in-built washing and drying, the Palma Vita eliminates any need for manual contact/ cleansing after toileting. Thus it delivers a ‘hands-free’ answer to achieving a consistently high standard of cleanliness and hygiene for client and carer.

    “Whenever a client goes to the toilet using a conventional WC and toilet tissue, there is always a risk that there may be risk of faecal contamination,” says Claire Haymes, Clos-o-Mat’s care specialist. “One cannot guarantee the consistency and quality of cleanliness achieved by either the client or their carer in wiping clean, and washing their hands after. Even if one is exceptionally thorough, how often do we brush under our nails? When caring for vulnerable people, every possible step should be taken to protect them from germs.”

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  • Ready reference to achieve compliance in school hygiene

    HarrowAchieving optimum accessibility- especially for students’ personal hygiene- in new educational building and upgrade/refurbishment projects is being simplified through a ‘ready reference’ just published.

    ‘Considerations & Specification of Hygiene Rooms in Educational Establishments’ is an innovative white paper, produced by leading disabled toileting solutions provider

    Clos-o-Mat. The paper covers all new legislative and ‘good practice’ guidelines for design and specification of the ‘bigger and better’ accessible toilets in schools, colleges and universities, simplifying the compliance process.

    “One child in 20 under the age of 16 is disabled. Some 60% of statemented children are now in mainstream schooling. Over 20,000 students have a disability- almost 6% of the student population. Provision of appropriate, accessible toilet facilities is therefore increasingly important in educational building projects, and that extends to hygiene rooms, which contain more, complex equipment,” explains Claire Haymes, Clos-o-Mat’s dedicated hygiene rooms manager.

    “We are the only specialist disabled toileting company that has a proven track record not only in the supply of equipment, but all aspects of the process, from design advice through project management to commissioning and future service & maintenance.”

    The white paper can be downloaded free of charge from our downloads section along with the company’s other sector- specific white papers, and a full ambit of CAD drawings to cut and paste into plans.

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  • Changing Places opens doors to all…

    AlfieNext time you go to the toilet away from home, imagine how you would cope if you needed a helper…..

    For some 1/4million adults and children who do need help, they face having to be laid on the toilet floor, often with the door open for anyone passing to see them. New guidelines and legislation have put in place criteria to avoid this situation: installation of a Changing Places toilet. Bigger than a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet, the facility also includes additional equipment of, at least, a hoist and adult-sized changing bench.

    Under both the latest Building Regulations Approved Document M and BS8300:2009, it isdesirable to include a Changing Places facility in any building to which the public have access. And under the Equality Act, service providers are now required to make reasonable changes- including to the built environment- where a disabled customer or potential customer would otherwise be at asubstantial disadvantage.

    Changing Places“Having to lie on the toilet floor most people would view as a substantial disadvantage,” says Kelvin Grimes, Changing Places project manager at Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading provider of disabled toilet facilities. “We wouldn’t expect a mother to lay her baby on the floor to change it, so why should it be acceptable for a disabled person to undergo that experience?

    “Our disabled population is growing- currently 10% of the UK population is registered disabled. Disabled people account for an annual spend in excess of £80billion. Disabled customers account, on average, for 20% of retail business. It is therefore ‘desirable’, to quote the legislation, that shopping centres, tourist attractions, leisure venues heed good practice, legal recommendations, and the commercial benefits of providing Changing Places toilets.”

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  • Reduce risk and deliver optimum independence

    GlenashlingFalling and manual handling risks could be significantly reduced, whilst simultaneously increasing residents’ independence, through use of innovative mobility aid technology in the bathroom.

    An Aerolet toilet lifter replicates the natural motion of standing up and sitting down, but supports the user throughout the process. It gently raises and lowers them over the toilet, whilst enabling their feet to remain in contact with the floor and maintaining the centre of gravity above the feet for balance. Electronically operated, the Aerolet gives the user full control, ensuring he or she has a safe, comfortable, dignified experience when going to the toilet.

    “An average 100 bed nursing home reports 100-200 falls a year(1)-equivalent on average to 1.5 falls/bed. Every minute, 6 people over 65 suffer a fall(2),” says Claire Haymes, care and nursing home specialist at Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading supplier of toileting solutions for disabled and elderly people. “We go to the toilet on average eight times a day; using the bathroom is one area where care residents and staff are most greatly at risk of falls.

    “Surely equipment that reduces that risk, and improves manual handling issues is of benefit, especially if it gives the resident those intangible but priceless values of independence and dignity?”

    Clos-o-Mat analysis shows installation of an Aerolet equates to up to 60% £ saving in a year on the cost of care staff accompanying residents to the toilet, and helping them there; there are additional financial benefits, as care staff can spend that time undertaking other duties.

    The company offers two main Aerolets- the Vertical and Tilt, both of which can be fitted over conventional WCs or over Clos-o-Mat’s Palma Vita automatic wash and dry toilet. Bariatric versions, and separate shower chairs are also available.

    Full details and examples of care and nursing homes that have already installed Clos-o-Mat equipment can be found, or telephone 0161 969 1199.

    Clos-o-Mat has over 50 years’ experience in provision of solutions to optimise elderly and disabled people’s dignity when toileting. Over 40,000 Clos-o-Mats have been sold, with many still in daily use 30 years after first being installed.

    The company offers in-house design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and after-sales service & maintenance for optimum peace of mind.


    (1)George 2000
    (2)Age UK

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  • World Toilet Day

    In the UK, we take access to a toilet of any kind as normal. But for 2.5 BILLION people - 1 in 3 of the population- access to proper sanitation is a daily struggle.

    November 19 is World Toilet Day, a campaign to advocate for safe toilets, with the slogan ‘I give a sh*t, do you?”. The campaign’s website,, includes a raft of ideas for people to undertake in their local community to raise awareness of the issue, at home and abroad.

  • Ready reference to achieve compliance in school building

    Thornton CollegeAchieving optimum accessibility- especially for pupils’ personal hygiene- in new school building and upgrade/refurbishment projects is being simplified through a ‘ready reference’ just published.

    ‘Considerations & Specification of Hygiene Rooms in Educational Establishments’ is an innovative white paper, produced by leading disabled toileting solutions provider

    Clos-o-Mat. The paper covers all new legislative and ‘good practice’ guidelines for design and specification of the ‘bigger and better’ accessible toilets in schools, simplifying the compliance process.

    “One child in 20 under the age of 16 is disabled. Some 60% of statemented children are now in mainstream schooling. Over 20,000 students have a disability- almost 6% of the student population. Provision of appropriate, accessible toilet facilities is therefore increasingly important in educational building projects, and that extends to hygiene rooms, which contain more, complex equipment,” explains Claire Haymes, Clos-o-Mat’s dedicated hygiene rooms manager.

    “It is actually a design requirement under the Priority School Building Programme Facilities Output Specification that the building includes a hygiene room, ensuring the building is ‘future-proof’ for pupils’ needs. We are the only specialist disabled toileting company that has a proven track record not only in the supply of equipment, but all aspects of the process, from design advice through project management to commissioning and future service & maintenance.”

    The white paper can be downloaded free of charge from Clos-o-Mat’s, along with the company’s other sector- specific white papers, and a full ambit of CAD drawings to cut and paste into plans.

    Clos-o-Mat is unique in being able to deliver, in house, design advice, supply, install, commissioning, and maintenance of all the equipment for a hygiene room or accessible washroom, toilet or changing room. It has over 50 years’ experience in the sector, whilst its Palma Vita is the only unit of its kind developed specifically for disabled people. Clos-o-Mat is now the UK’s leading supplier of hygiene rooms and their public equivalent, Changing Places toilets.

  • Head to the toilet to increase business

    IkeaOver 8million disabled people have walked away and taken their business elsewhere because a service provider was inaccessible, latest research shows*. Yet simply changing toilet provision could help improve accessibility- and get that lost business, especially over Christmas/New Year.

    So claims Clos-o-Mat, the UK’s leading disabled toileting solutions provider. “There are 10m registered disabled people in the UK, with a spending power of over £80billion! In addition, one in 10 people suffers from continence, though may not be disabled,” elaborates Robin Tuffley, Clos-o-Mat marketing manager. “We go to the toilet 8 times a day on average, so will often need to use facilities when away from home, yet research shows people make a conscious decision NOT to visit somewhere if they believe there are not suitable toilets.

    “Simply by switching a conventional WC to an automatic shower (wash and dry) toilet would make many toilets- conventional and accessible- suitable for use by even more people, increasing footfall and inevitably on-site spending. And it gives a different marketing angle!”

    The Trafford Centre, IKEA, Cadbury World and MOTO are just some operations that have realised the potential. Andy Bates, customer services manager at the Trafford Centre, commented, “We pride ourselves on listening to our customers. It was a lot of research, and listening to those customers, that focussed us on investing in a Clos-o-Mat automatic shower toilet and additional changing facilities in the toilets available at The Orient, and user testimony is reinforcing we made the right choice.”

    An automatic shower toilet, such as a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita or height adjustable Lima Lift, looks like- and can be used as- a conventional WC with the added features of in-built douching and drying. It therefore ensures a more hygienic clean after toileting, especially if continence is an issue, and means anyone who would need the help of a carer to toilet can ‘go’ with little, or no, assistance, improving their dignity, independence and privacy. The washing facility also delivers compliance with Islamic Qadaahul Haajah.

    Clos-o-Mat has a 50+ years-long proven track record on the supply and installation of fully accessible toilets, hygiene rooms, and Changing Places facilities. Its ability to deliver design advice, supply, installation, project management, commissioning and maintenance across the ambit of accessible toileting equipment means it is uniquely positioned to simplify the whole process for forward-thinking environments to which the public have access.

    *Employers Forum on Disability

  • Total approach helps community centre open for all

    WoolstonA total approach to inclusivity is making a community centre truly open for all……

    Southampton City Council has developed a partnership with Woolston Community Association whereby the Council has funded refurbishment and extensions to the area’s Community Centre to provide facilities for local people, and a new venue for the Council’s adult day services. A key element of the facilities now provided at the Centre is a Changing Places accessible toilet, supplied and installed by Clos-o-Mat.

    “It’s a win: win situation,” explains Sue Harris, Southampton City Council’s day services manager. “We have done a lot of work over the past 10 years to move services out of segregated units and into the community, and ensuringall our clients’ needs are accommodated.

    “Installing a Changing Places toilet was vital, as we work with people with complex needs, and one of the aims of the refurbishment was to encourage new users to the Community Centre. The Changing Places toilet means anyone who needs the help of a carer can relax and enjoy themselves at the centre, knowing there are appropriate toilet facilities. We also included a Clos-o-Mat toilet, to make it as fully accessible as possible, giving anyone with a disability dignity and independence.”

    The Changing Places toilet at Woolston is the fourth to be installed by the Council, and has a height adjustable adult sized changing bench, hoist, height adjustable washbasin, and Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita ‘wash and dry’ (automatic) toilet with touch sensitive switch. The Clos-o-Mat can be used as a conventional toilet but also can wash and dry the user after toileting without the need for the user, or their carer, to wipe clean with toilet tissue, thus improving hygiene, independence and dignity. The touch sensitive switch means that someone with limited manual strength can still operate the toilet without help.

    Since the Changing Places campaign began over 450 Changing Places toilets have been opened across the UK. In the last 18 months alone, over 100 Changing Places toilets have been opened at venues across the country. Uniquely, the company can deliver in-house design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance of all the equipment required as standard specification for a Changing Places toilet, and additional fixtures, such as the Clos-o-Mat toilet.