Chief Executive, Steve McManus joined members of staff and service users Sian Cook and daughter Amy at the official opening of ‘Changing Places’, a specially designed bathroom for people with profound disabilities who are unable to use standard or disabled toilets.
The new facility is wheelchair accessible and provides specialised equipment including, a height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench, a ceiling track hoist, adjustable sink and rails, a centrally placed toilet and plenty of space for carers.
On cutting the ribbon Sian said: “We are enormously grateful to the Royal Berkshire Hospital for installing a Changing Places toilet facility. I have requested such a room for some time as my profoundly disabled daughter Amy has regular hospital appointments. While at the hospital, she needs personal care and, as she is unable to sit up or transfer, regular disabled toilets aren’t suitable. The Changing Places facility will make visits so much easier as she can be hoisted in her sling onto the height adjustable table. This is going to transform the lives of families like ours which is wonderful.”
Jess Higson, project lead and Matron for Oncology commented: “Over a 1/4 million people across the UK need facilities like these to enable them to get out and enjoy the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted.
“We have worked closely with our patient experience members and Changing Places Consortium to ensure the new bathroom meets the requirements of this special group of users.
“We are delighted that the hospital is able to provide this modern facility which supports people with additional and complex needs, and allows them to be able to change in a comfortable and appropriate environment.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to Robin Douglas for his support; his fundraising, along with a contribution from the Royal Berkshire Charity has enabled us to purchase all of the equipment, which is fantastic. Thank you also to Sian and Amy for joining us today and opening the new facility.”
The bathroom, which is located at ground level, Craven Road entrance at the Royal Berkshire Hospital is registered on the Changing Places Consortium list of facilities in the UK and is available for use by anyone needing this type of facility.