This week the Department of Health and Social Care announced the first round of funding of £500.000 to be given to 10 NHS Trust Hospital in England to build Changing Places facilities.
Is your local hospital on the list;
• Hull University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust
• University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation
• Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust
• Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
• Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
• Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
• United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
• West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
• Lancashire teaching hospitals
• Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
With around only 70 hospital providing changing Places facilities already it definitely comes a welcome start. Is it enough NO of course not but the question is WHY haven’t more come forward like my own local hospital Milton Keynes University Hospital who told me;
‘We have done a review of all the potential spaces that would be appropriate and have good access for visitors to the site, sadly the options are not great. We can assure you that we recognise the need and do want to come up with a solution that works well.‘
Do some people really understand the importance and need for changing places toilets no, why? is it down to ignorance and lack of knowledge yes absolutely, when you don’t have someone in your life that has a disability you’ll never see the day-to-daystruggles they might face, but in the same sentences you may already know someone and they just haven’t shared or showed you their struggles also.
The most common argument I see from people with the lack of knowledge when there’s a new announcements on Changing Places is there is already disabled toilets available or the cost and it can be used in a better way.
So let me clear a few things up
NO hospitals don’t have all right equipment on all wards. I.e like a hoists.
NO we all don’t always attend our local hospital as an out-patient adult or child, you’ll find most have to travel to other hospital see a specialist meaning using an unequipped disabled toilet is impossible.
NO we shouldn’t have to rick our lives going to a place like a hospital that saves lives!
NO carers/family members shouldn’t have to risk their health breaking their backs lifting.
NO just because we’re in a hospital bed doesn’t mean we’re not entitled to our dignity.
Nobody asks/ed to be disabled, I’m sure no parent wished to have a disabled child to watch the heartache of them struggle though out their life for basic human rights like going to the toilet. I know my mum definitely didn’t want to watch both her children struggle the same way she does living with muscular Dystrophy but unfortunately she does, it also doesn’t mean she loves us any less as every parent with a disabled child will tell you.
A changing Places facility can mean living an independent life, living a life with freedom and Choice, feeling included not feeling like your Choice is made for you by others just because of your disability.
So YES just because I have a disability as well as the other 1/4 million other disabled people We do have the right to a safe environment as will as carers and family members that are our care givers.
If your unsure of why these changing places toilets are life changing before judging find out why they changing places toilets saves lives, as one day you may just find yourself in a situation where you need one!
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