What are Changing Places Toilets?

Changing Places facilities are different to standard disabled or accessible toilets. Changing Places facilities provide a larger space and must have a minimum floor area of 12m2 (3m x 4m) with a ceiling height of 2.4m in order to meet the criteria for registration as a Changing Place facility in Ireland. Changing Places include specialist equipment such as a full room coverage ceiling hoist system, a height-adjustable adult sized changing bench, centrally located toilet to allow for assistance or transfer on both sides and a privacy screen. Changing Places facilities are life changing and designed to support the disabled community and provide access to public toilet facilities that meet the more complex needs. Without these types of facilities, carers are forced to change loved ones on the floor or not venture to public places at all due to lack of adequate facilities. Find out more about the Changing Places Campaign

Why do we need Changing Places Toilets in Ireland?

13.5% of the Irish Population has a disability (www.cso.ie) and while many accessible toilets meet their needs there is a large proportion of people and their carers who cannot visit public places due to the lack of suitable toilet facilities. The Changing Places campaign in Ireland is highlighting the need for more of these types of facilities to allow families, friends and carers take part in activities and visit places such as a zoo, libraries, swimming pools, shopping centres and sporting arenas most of us take for granted. At present there are only 19 registered Changing Place facilities in Ireland.

Changing Places Ireland Criteria – Equipment for Accessible Bathrooms

Changing Places must meet a range of criteria in order to qualify for registration.

  • Floor Area must be a minimum of 12m2 (3m x 4m ) with a ceiling height of 2.4m
  • Full Room coverage ceiling track hoist system
  • Height-Adjustable, Adult Sized Changing Bench
  • Centrally located toilet with sufficient space both sides for assistants/ transfer
  • Privacy Screen
  • Wide Paper Roll
  • Large Waste Disposal Bin
  • Washbasin

Toilet/ Changing facilities which do not meet all the Changing Places Criteria may be listed as Step-Down facilities.

Mobile or Modular Changing Places facilities may also be a consideration where internal adaptation may be more difficult. These quick-build modular solutions ensure the optimal space and layout is achieved and can minimise disruption to existing or older buildings. These stand alone facilities are highly visible and are suitable for temporary or long term usage.

Changing Places Facilities – Benefits for All

A Changing Places toilet facility aims to meet the needs of those people in our towns and cities who require extra care and assistance. Providing publicly available Changing Places locations in our museums, universities , transport hubs & airports (Dublin is the only Irish airport at present with a Changing Place facility), shopping centres, sports arenas and tourist attractions offers a vital-life line to those with disabilities and their carers and families. These crucial facilities offer the opportunity for the disabled community to travel, shop, visit new areas of interest and attend concerts. These facilities can also unlock a new customer base for venues. The Changing Places Campaign in the UK now has over 1,800 registered facilities and is increasing annually. Case Studies of venues where Changing Places facilities have been installed have shown increasing numbers of guests with disabilities with an increase in accompanying revenue.

What are the good things about changing the building rules?

Right now, there are no rules to say that certain publicly accessible buildings must have a changing places toilet. Research by the National Disability Authority (NDA) says that between 17 thousand and 38 thousand people might need to use a changing places toilet in Ireland. This does not include people who might support another person. If the rules are changed so that a changing places toilet is needed in some buildings like hospitals, schools, museums and galleries then;

  •  there could be up to 80 new changing places toilets built each year.
  •  people who need them will be able to use them and have more dignity,
  •  other private building projects might also include a changing places toilet.

What buildings will Changing Places Toilets be in if the rules change?

It is important to know that Changing Places toilets can only be in large buildings that are big enough for them to fit correctly. It also important to know that the number of people that use the building help us to know if it needs a changing places toilet ornot. For each type of building there will be a different minimum size before it must have a changing places toilet in it. The buildings that changing places toilet may be in are:

  • Hospitals,
  • Primary care centres,
  • Places where people socialise together like;
    • an amusement arcade,
    • concert hall,
    • theatre,
    • public library,
    • hall,
    • cinema,
    • gallery,
    • museum,
    • conference centre,
    • leisure or sports centre,
    • place ofpublic worship,
    • public house,
    • restaurant.
  • Sports pavilion,
  • stadium,
  • grandstand buildings,
  • Roadside service facility that provides food hall / dining
    and toilet facilities,
  • School (primary, secondary or special schools)
  • Third level college, University, or other building for the
    provision of education,
  • Station or other facility for air, rail, road or sea travel,
  • Office- where members of the public can use the toilets,
  • Shop, shopping centre or retail park,
  •  Hotels,
  • Public toilets near parks and beaches,
  • Toilet facilities in zoos, amusement parks or theme parks.

Why choose MMS Medical to install a Changing Places facility?


MMS Medical has over 30 years experience in the survey and installation of assisted bathrooms & toilets, ceiling hoists and changing benches in a wide range of facilities across the country. We provide specialist advice, on-site appraisal, specifications & product recommendations through to full installation of specialist bathing, toileting and patient transfer equipment for architects, builders, developers, local authorities, case managers, facilities managers and property managers. We have carried out installations in schools, colleges, universities, care homes, commercial buildings, sports complexes and private homes. The Changing Places Campaign is aimed at delivering more of these types of facilities in public places.

MMS Medical offers a full turn-key solution for your Changing Place facility providing you with one supplier to meet all your equipment and installation requirements. MMS Medical is one of Ireland’s leading suppliers of mobility products in Ireland and we are well positioned to balance the technical specifications of these facilities with the actual users needs and requirements. Our experienced team have the knowledge and skills to take the project from start to finish.

To arrange a project consultation with Our Changing Places Team please contact us on 021 4618000 or email info@mmsmedical.ie

Contact MMS Medical

If you would like to discuss a Changing Places project or want MMS Medical to carry out an on-site, free of charge appraisal please email us your information at info@mmsmedical.ie or complete the contact us page on this site. Our customer service team is on-hand Monday to Friday to assist with your enquiries on 021  461 8000