Law change needed to give disabled people basic sanitation, ministers told

A change in the law is needed to give disabled people “basic sanitation” in public spaces across the UK, ministers have been told.

Campaigners are pushing for changing place toilets to be mandatory in public places such as large railway stations, airports and motorway services.

The toilets have space for a wheelchair user and two carers, with a height-adjustable bed and a hoist, alongside other equipment normally found in disabled toilets.

Labour MP Paula Sherriff (Dewsbury), moving her Toilets (Provision and Accessibility) Bill in the Commons, said too many disabled people faced “the indignity of being changed on the dirty floors of public toilets”.

Ms Sherriff, moving her Bill via a 10-minute rule motion, said: “When it is raised, it is usually with reference to the developing world – quite rightly campaigners are seeking to raise the importance of people’s access to basic sanitation and hygiene.

“Yet there are too many people are who are denied it here in modern Britain as well.”

She added: “Current data suggests that there are only 1,123 changing place toilets in the UK, with the highest concentrations in major cities.

“Some areas don’t have a facility even within an hour’s drive so people are either confined in their home or have to rush back if nature calls or they have to face the indignity of being changed on the dirty floor of public toilets.

“Needless to say the result can be social isolation.”

The Bill was listed for a second reading on November 23 but is unlikely to become law in its current form without Government support or sufficient parliamentary time.

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