Tamworth Borough Council is utilising the latest toilet technology to deliver enhanced facilities for everyone who lives in, or visits, the town.
The main block of unisex cubicles in the grounds of historic Tamworth Castle now uses advanced technology to enable them to be remotely controllable so that availability meets demand, including into the evening, rather than limited by seasonal opening hours. Baby change and conventional wheelchair-accessible toilets are also included in the scheme. Alongside, an assisted accessible toilet – aka a Changing Places toilet – features a Closomat Palma Vita wash & dry/ smart toilet.
Automatically operated, the Closomat effectively washes and dries the user with no need to wipe with toilet paper, giving greater cleanliness and hygiene and- for those who need help – greater dignity and independence.
The whole project has been executed by smart public toilet provider Healthmatic who has in turn partnered with leading assisted accessible WC provider Closomat to create Tamworth's first Changing Places toilet facility as part of the scheme.
"Using smart technology is enabling us to provide high quality toilet facilities, that we can keep open for much longer, at all times of the year," explained Cllr John Chesworth, Cabinet member for Culture & Operational Services at Tamworth Borough Council. "Having such great toilets, that cover so many different people's needs, will enable everyone to come and enjoy the town, its facilities and its heritage. The provision of Tamworth's first Changing Places facility is also really important for the older children and adults in our community with additional needs, who need full changing conveniences. The lack of such a facility can actually prevent some disabled people and their carers from being able to go out and visit a certain place. Having a Changing Places facility in Tamworth will remove hat particular barrier ad will hopefully enable everyone to come and enjoy our wonderful park and town."
Kelvin Grimes, Closomat away from home project manager, added "A Changing Places is designed to enable anyone who needs help – be it from a carer or equipment to deal with their intimate care – to access appropriate facilities when away from home. It offers more space than a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet, and more equipment; specifically a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench, full room cover ceiling track hoist and privacy screen. Under British Standards, it is noted that further provision of a wash and dry toilet in place of a conventional WC enhances the user's dignity and independence. Not every Changing Places has one, so it is great to see Tamworth Borough Council being so progressive."
Under British Standards (BS8300:2018), it is best practice to provide a Changing Places toilet in addition to conventional accessible facilities in buildings where the public spend time. The Government is also reviewing making them an obligatory requirement in new buildings or major refurbishments.
Closomat has become the leader in the design, supply, installation and subsequent maintenance of Changing Places; its website www.closomat.co.uk is now the go to' location for support information for all involved in the specification and build process, with NBS specifications, CAD blocks, white papers and guidance notes all available for free download.