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Consortium update

1st Aug 2019

Changing Places consortium meeting


Back in May this year we met up with other members of the Changing Places Consortium in York (we even managed to squeeze in a group photo at the Changing Places toilet at York train station!). MDUK, PAMIS and Martin Jackaman (a founding member of the Consortium) were present for the meeting and the Centre for Accessible Environment also joined via the phone for part of the meeting.

Things have been quite busy since then so we have been delayed in updating everyone on some of our key discussions but have now pulled the below summary together:
  • As with every meeting, all Consortium members shared updates around recent campaigning activity across the UK including the exciting developments with Tesco installing Changing Places toilets at over 30 stores across the UK, with more to come in the future.
  • We discussed the Department for Transport funding and MDUK’s work to encourage applications from motorway service operators to install new Changing Places and the importance of trying to secure the best possible geographical coverage.
  • MDUK also shared the news that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have made £2million available to NHS hospitals in England to install Changing Places, and this call for applications is also now open.
  • A key topic of conversation was the two consultations taking place in Scotland and England which were looking at strengthening regulations around Changing Places toilets. We discussed the importance of generating a strong response rate to each. It was also recognised that the Consortium would need to come together again to discuss the outcomes of the consultations and what this means for the campaign moving forward, particularly in terms of registration of future Changing Places toilets and classifications of historic facilities.
  • The Consortium also discussed the best way to promote the great work done by campaigners, so we’ll be working on the Changing Places website with the aim of linking up with the online presence of active campaigners. We would love to get more case studies on the website and link to more campaigner blogs. Please email Karen if you would like to take part.
  • Looking to the future was a big focus of the meeting. The Consortium discussed the value of trying to expand membership of the Consortium to include representation from Wales and Northern Ireland. Please email us with any suggestions of organisations to approach. We also revisited the Consortium’s terms of reference and discussed the idea of establishing a technical arm of the Consortium. 
  • There was plenty of discussion about plans and ideas for Changing Places Awareness Day (we will be sharing a summary of the day shortly!).
  • Finally, the Consortium discussed the need to make improvements to the Changing Places website and map, such as distinguishing different types of Changing Places toilet on the map, as well as making it more user-friendly. We are currently exploring potential funding opportunities to help us make these changes. Do send through any suggestions of changes you would like to see.
 We hope to meet as a Consortium again in the Autumn but continue to keep in close contact on important matters. If you have any questions about the meeting please do get in touch.