Frenchgate Shopping Centre
Listening to customers' needs has prompted a major shopping centre to take its facilities into the 21st century, and deliver services that optimize accessibility.
Frenchgate Shopping Centre in Doncaster is the latest venue to open a Changing Places accessible toilet. The Changing Places campaign, sponsored by Total Hygiene, lobbies for the accessible toilets to be installed in venues to which numbers of the public have access.
Larger than a conventional 'disabled' toilet, a Changing Places unit not only has more space, to enable easier maneuvering with a wheelchair, but incorporates additional equipment, including a hoist and height adjustable changing bench. To further optimize use by as many people as possible, Frenchgate has also added a height adjustable washbasin and, instead of a conventional WC, a Closomat Palma 'wash and dry' toilet.
The Closomat, manufactured by Total Hygiene, 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.
Frenchgate Operations Manager Elaine Retallic explained, "Frenchgate already has five 'conventional' accessible toilets, but I had a meeting with a local lady whose daughter needed a hoist to be able to use the toilet. With her help, we have created a toilet that meets her needs, and hopefully those of many other disabled people and their carers, so they can relax and enjoy shopping at Frenchgate without worrying about provision of suitable toilet facilities."
The Changing Places facility, supplied and installed by Total Hygiene, is on Level 2, off the Food Mall, and is easily accessed via a key held at customer services. In its drive to optimize customer care, Frenchgate asks every user for comments when they return the key; further, the toilet is cleaned after every use.
Since the Changing Places campaign began, over 400 of the 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