I am overjoyed to announce that the Changing Places Consortium, an organisation that tirelessly campaign for Changing Places toilets to be installed in all large public spaces, enabling people with more complex needs and disabilities the freedom of going out and about, to enjoy their lives without the impending worry that they may not find a suitable toilet with the essential equipment they need, has now adopted an innovative new system to help raise standards across the UK!
What are Changing Places toilets and how do they help?
The Changing Places Consortium launched its campaign in 2005 on behalf of the ¼ million disabled people like me, who’s needs were not being met by standard accessible toilets. Individuals with more complex needs and disabilities, both physically and invisibly, can require more space to navigate and position their wheelchairs, for 1-2 carers to assist in safe, dignified transfers using a ceiling track hoist and/ or removing clothing on the adult-sized changing bench, to layout continence/catheter/urostomy, etc supplies on a sanitary surface as many are high risk for picking up infections. Those who can self-transfer may need to do so from specifically the left/right-hand side of the toilet due to one-sided weakness for example or limb amputations, Changing Places toilets accommodates this by having a centralized toilet with pull-down grab rails on each side. You can even find a hand-held shower, Closo-mat toilet (a bidet toilet that hygienically cleans the individual) and electric height-adjustable washbasins. Every feature outlined promotes safer, more dignified and independent toileting. Changing Places cater for disabled children and adults of all ability levels, even the highest of support needs.
So far, more than 1,000 Changing Places facilities are available at venues and in local communities which are validated and registered by Muscular Dystrophy UK on behalf of the Consortium.
Monitoring the Changing Places toilets will now be far easier thanks to Cleen – the UK’s first fully-integrated management tool and review app – which has been developed by HSG in Pride Park.
Cleen is enabling Changing Places users to log and publish reviews – good and bad – via a FREE app that is easily downloaded and available on App Store or Google Play.
The Cleen app has a dedicated area for Changing Places users and their families/carers to report technical issues/breakdowns such as ceiling track hoist or height-adjustable bench malfunctions, bidet toilet breakdowns or even just to say somebody tied up the emergency cord or the toilet simply needs more toilet roll…
Additionally, users can highlight positive experiences that are shared publicly on the app to reassure other users that a specific Changing Places is easy to locate and access, kept to its high hygienic standard and you had no trouble with any equipment, therefore encouraging other individuals and families with a need for these facilities to visit the venue/area.
Dashboard and on-site tablets!
Washroom services and water conservation specialists HSG are providing Changing Places an on-site dashboard system, in addition to the app, to make it even easier to report issues right as you experience them, speeding up repair times massively for these vital toilet facilities.
This will notify the equipment providers and consortium instantly of issues highlighted via the Cleen App so that appropriate action can be taken. Meaning more freedom for Changing Places users like myself, as the only facilities we can use will be back up and running, in working order – faster! – I’ve seen Changing Places loo’s with out-of-order signs on for weeks-on-end, so I am beyond excited to speed up the process and get on with living life knowing they’re on it!
HSG is now working with venues who have Changing Places facilities to enable them to have their own individual dashboards so that they can also monitor reviews, take action and post positive reviews themselves.
Facility providers can also purchase the Cleen Tablet which are installed in or near Changing Places toilets and enables reviews to be posted directly on-site without a smartphone! Putting Changing Places users and their families in control.
The partnership was officially launched at an event at Leeds City Museum on 19th July 2019 to mark Changing Places Awareness Day and what a better way to celebrate than by announcing a company that puts our struggle at the forefront and with the help of their revolutionary app, will create more reassurance and freedom for Changing Places users and their loved ones.
“Cleen is a game-changer for the Changing Places campaign and we are very grateful to HSG for their support in providing us with this latest technology.
Over 250,000 people need Changing Places toilets to enable them to get out and about and enjoy the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted.
They also have the same desire and right as everyone else to have access to clean, well- managed washroom facilities.
To use a toilet in safety and comfort, people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, Motor Neuron Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy as well as older people require more space and the right equipment and there are strict criteria to qualifying as a Changing Places facility.
Cleen App gives people a voice to highlight issues and praise good standards. The Cleen Dashboard then enables the service and equipment providers to quickly take action where standards are falling short and for us to monitor the overall network.” – says Karen Hoe, Changing Places Development Officer.
HSG Managing Director Simon Rice developed Cleen with the aim of improving the world one washroom at a time.
“Everyone deserves access to clean, safe and accessible washroom facilities and raising industry standards is a particular passion of mine.
“We developed Cleen to enable anyone using a washroom in all kinds of venues to review their experience – rather like Trip Advisor – from restaurants and theatres to shopping centres and airports.
“We were however particularly keen to have a special section on the app for Changing Places facilities in recognition of the particular challenges that so many people across the UK face simply by enjoying a day out or travelling from A to B.
“By providing the Changing Places consortium and their equipment providers with the Cleen Dashboard management tool, I hope that we can make a difference.
“Businesses, venues and even local communities who have invested in Changing Places facilities have already shown that they care about the quality of life of the many thousands of people who need and deserve these specially-adapted washroom facilities.
“By signing up to the Cleen Dashboard themselves, negative reviews can be swiftly rectified and customer relationships strengthened by proving that venues are responsive to feedback. Likewise, positive reviews are a good advertisement and marketing tool for a venue.”
The Cleen App is free to download onto a smartphone and enables washroom users to log reviews of toilet facilities in any type of venue. For more information please visit http://www.cleen.world or search the app store in Apple or Android.
For more information about Changing Places and to see the map of facilities across the UK, please visit http://www.changing-places.org/