Over 250,000 people require a Changing Places toilet in order to get out and about and enjoy the world as others do. Sufferers of profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and many others find it difficult to use standard toilets and even disabled toilets as their needs are more varied and complex. A Changing Places public toilet may have more space and different equipment such as a hoist, adjustable changing bench, and other specialised pieces of equipment.

Changing Places toilets are an essential part of the UK public eco system but currently there are not nearly enough installed across the UK. If you’re considering one for your local area, here are our key points you need to consider before installing one.

Cost of Changing Places Toilets

The most major factor to consider when looking at installing a Changing Places facility is the cost. These facilities are a lot more expensive to install and maintain than a regular public toilet which can be off-putting for some. However, there are several grants and funds available to contribute towards this cost as this is such an important resource for the community, so don’t be put off by the expense. You can find out more about available funding here.

changing-places-toilet

Location

Finding the best place to install your Changing Places toilet is also a potential issue. There needs to be enough space to install a large enough facility, close to water and mains electric lines and most importantly it needs to be accessible. This means installing close to transport hubs, large car parks, and preferably within close distance of local attractions. This can be a big ask for some areas, but these are important considerations.

If space is a potential issue for you, you can always consider a ‘Space to Change’ public toilet. These toilets bridge the gap between accessible toilets and Changing Places toilets. A Space to Change toilet offers the opportunity to renovate or install a public toilet that is slightly larger than standard, allowing enough space for wheelchair users but also including an adult-sized changing bench and hoist. These are a good option to look at if having enough room is a concern for your area. You can find more information on Space to Change toilets here.

Access

When installing your Changing Places facility, you need to consider how users will access it. There are several different routes you can take, each with their own merits and foibles. RADAR keys are a common choice but as any disabled person can purchase a RADAR key, this may not be suitable for the specialist equipment that a Changing Places facility has inside. Healthmatic would recommend a combination Call Centre and Keypad approach. This means that people wishing to use the facility would telephone a call centre in order to obtain the correct combination for the keypad. This means that only people with appropriate needs would be accessing the facility, reducing the risk of vandalism and damage.

Maintenance of Changing Places Toilets

Once your Changing Places public toilet has been installed, you need to think about the long-term implications of a facility such as this. Cleaning and maintenance of a Changing Places facility can be a larger undertaking than it is for a standard public toilet. For example, Changing Places facilities equipment must be inspected every six months in order to comply with the LOLER (The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998). Healthmatic have many years of experience in the specialised cleaning and maintenance of Changing Places toilets and can offer you an excellent contract that will ensure your facilities stay up to date, safe and clean for all those that use it.


Installing a Changing Places facility can be a great improvement for any area, allowing it to be open to far more people and providing a much-needed resource for those with additional needs in your local community. Healthmatic can help to guide you through the process of finding the best area for your public toilet, how to ensure that your installation has everything it needs and ensuring that the facility passes inspection every time. If you’re considering how a Changing Places facility will improve the lives of thousands of people in the UK, contact us now.


A toilet in Sawbridgeworth has been twinned with a toilet in Indonesia!

In a meeting of the Full Town Council on 28th September 2020, Councillor David Royle proposed:

“To consider whether a toilet twinned town idea might be a useful community exercise. The town council could take the lead and encourage up to 20 toilets to be twinned, bringing together schools, businesses and community groups.”

We are very excited to see this new development, after installing the facilities previously. Best of luck to Sawbridgeworth community in this new endeavour.

See the full story here: http://www.sawbridgeworth-tc.gov.uk/sawbridgeworth-news/article/town-twinning-toilet


“Spend a penny” is a phrase that dates back to 1850 and whilst the cost of using a public toilet is no longer just 1p, the public often still  pay to use the lavatory when out and about.  For some, it is contentious and difficult to understand why publicly owned buildings should charge for entry, after all, we all pay taxes, so, why do some councils still ask us to “spend a penny”.

Taxes

One of the most common complaints for having to pay for public toilets is “I already pay my council tax, that should cover public toilets”. but of course our council tax contributions fund a myriad of public services, such as transport, highways, police, fire services, libraries, leisure and recreation, rubbish collection and disposal, environmental health, schools and an ever increasing amount on social care. This inevitably means that severe pressure is felt on some of those niche services, including public toilets.

Hidden costs

The cost of running a public toilet is not always obvious to those of us who use them and run far in excess of a few toilet rolls and someone to clean them. There are utility costs associated with water and power,  sewage and drainage, grounds and building  maintenance, and of course cleaners and cleaning materials. Building repairs associated with vandalism is also a growing issue across the UK.

Your money stays local!

A big concern for some people is that when you pay your money to use the local toilet, that money goes into the bank account of  of a faceless private company. However, almost without exception those companies employ local staff to clean and maintain the toilets and use local suppliers for the equipment and materials required. In this way the vast majority of the money collected by charging for the use of public toilets is recycled within the local community.

More money, more toilets?

For many councils, there is simply too high a cost associated with building, maintaining and enhancing public toilets for them to be viable as a free to use service. The choice then becomes one of, not having public toilets available or subsidising them through a charge per use approach. The outcome of this decision is very much driven by the value placed upon the availability of public toilets by the local community. There are very few public toilet locations which could become self-sustaining through charging alone.

Charging vs. not charging

So, to charge or not to charge is very much a decision made on local needs and circumstances. It tends to be made to facilitate the presence of public toilets where they would otherwise be at risk of closure and it is never made as a means of making a profit for councils.

We hope this helps to inform you about how and why our local councils make decisions regarding public toilets but remember – it’s been this way since 1850!


The Four Key Reasons You Shouldn’t Prop the Door Open

We know the feeling, you’ve been caught short when you’re out for a picnic or wandering around the shops, and when you come out of the loo there’s a long line of people behind you. So, you decide to be charitable, you hold the door open for the next person, they hold it open for the person after them, and before you know it, someone’s found a rock to prop open the door and the public toilet in your local town is free for the day!

I’m here to explain why we shouldn’t do this. Now I know you’re thinking “of course you would say that, you’re the company that makes us pay for the loo!” but propping open the door is damaging to you, your local council and your local community. I’ve broken it down to four key reasons why we shouldn’t prop the door open.

Don't prop the toilet door open!
Cleaning!

We know that there is nothing more annoying than finding a public toilet in a horrible state. Unfortunately, the toilet is only ever as clean as the last person that used it! There are some individuals in the world who will pay just to go inside and ruin it for everyone else. However, most of us pay our money, do our business and leave. If you prop the door open, anyone can get in and wreck the toilet without regard for anyone else.

Cleaning (part 2)!

When you pay your money and open the door, you are counted as one person using the toilet. Some of our toilets use this information to schedule the visits of cleaning teams. By propping the door open this information is misleading and leads to the toilet receiving less cleaning than it should. This of course means a less pleasant experience for those who use the facility.

More toilets!

The more people that pay to pee, the more awareness there is of the demand. This leads to greater resources available to your local council to fund more facilities. Councils have a really tough time balancing budgets and finding ways to distribute funds to potentially non-vital services. Fee paying customers contribute to the running costs of facilities and help keep public toilets open. This means they are higher on the Council agenda than they would otherwise be.

Negative usage…

We know that public toilets are infamous for their various uses outside of relieving oneself, there are even a few songs which have been written about that! Propping the door open makes it even more likely that toilets will be used for things we would really prefer them not to be. Drug use and anti-social behaviour generally becomes more prevalent where this is the case.

I’d love to think that my blog has convinced everyone to avoid propping a public toilet door open again, but I know that’s very unlikely. Instead I will hope that this has given some insight as to why local councils charge for public toilets, and why we recommend that for your own sake as well as ours, you don’t prop open the toilet door. It will make using public toilets a more pleasant experience for everyone!


Lady squatters and all other women – we need to agree on something, we should ALL sit down to pee!

In this time of never-ending shifting sands, there is one thing we know for sure; life as we know it has changed.  We are living through a pandemic and the need for improved hygiene is more important than ever, the panic buying of hand soap being a sure indicator of this.  We have all learned to change and adapt to what is now the “new norm”.  Masks, social distancing, gallons of hand sanitiser, long queues, one-way systems and (in my opinion, most importantly) limited access to any public toilets.

I think we’ve all realised that we have taken lots of things for granted in our daily lives, and for me access to a public toilet has been one of them.  As a keyworker, driving is essential in my job.  I had a map of the public toilets I could use on my routes in my mind that was entirely changed by lockdown.

I assume you’re wondering, how this led to me writing a blog.  Well I’ll be honest; I have reached an age where when I need to go to the toilet…I REALLY NEED to go! Most of us will use the toilet between 6-8 times a day, so, it’s pretty routine, or IS IT?

When I use the toilet, be that out and about or in the comfort of my own home, it’s a case of rushing in, sitting down comfortably and, instant relief.  I feel a sense of achievement, I made it! Now imagine my surprise when my long-time friend informed me, she was a “Lady squatter”.

I am aware of people who occupy a property and don’t pay rent and I vaguely remember something to do with an exercise class but what has “squatting” got to do with going for a pee I asked?  With a slap of her thighs she told me that her years of training (squatting / hovering) over the toilet seat, have given her the thighs of an Olympic gymnast. Now forgive me but I have no interest in becoming an Olympic gymnast nor have I ever considered, hovering over a toilet seat a life ambition.

I admit though, this made me curious – “how many other lady squatters are out there?” and more importantly… “WHY”?

As you can imagine there isn’t a lot of statistical data available on the subject, however it is estimated that almost half of women in the USA “hover or squat”. Who knew there were so many budding gymnasts in the States? For me the clue is in the name: it’s called a toilet seat – indicating you sit on it.

I am sure there will be a small number of ladies who will be of “Olympian” standard in the “hovering or squatting” discipline.  They will be able to deliver the perfect pee, whilst keeping their behind elevated away from the seat. However, others with hip, knee and back conditions (us ordinary mortals) can’t aspire to that perfect delivery and when we try it, we can miss the mark by quite some distance. Truly champion lady squatters are a rare breed.

In reality, the risk of your backside catching anything from the toilet seat and somehow transferring this to your mouth or nose is pretty minimal. After all, you are presumably going to wash your hands, immediately upon exiting the cubicle and the issue of germs on the seat is thoroughly exacerbated by our fellow ladies exercising their thighs.

So, on behalf of all of us non-Olympic squatters, please sit down. Unless you have the thighs of Wonder Woman, be kind to those who have long lost control of their pelvic floor and like me have seconds to get on the seat. Please just sit down! 


In 2013, City of York Council recognised the importance of improving their public toilets and the potential value in doing so. The Healthmatic model, not only modernised and improved the quality of facilities provided for public use but also reduced the annual operating costs by over 80%.

“…the results far exceeded our expectations, the facilities were brought up to date and our customer complaints disappeared overnight.”

  • 50% reduction in utility bill
  • Sub-lets introduced raising revenue for the City and the Council
  • 87% reduction in overall costs

The Situation at York Public Toilets

City of York Council were spending over half a million pounds per annum on the 13 public toilets available for use across the city. The toilets were built back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. They were tired and dated in appearance, unreliable in operation and did not offer a pleasant experience for the user. They weren’t meeting the expectations of the large volume of visitors to the city, not the local communities. Complaints were common and the cost of upkeep just kept increasing.

The Solution

Healthmatic, having performed detailed surveys of each location, not just focusing on the building and the facilities but also considering the volume of use and the user profile, completely redesigned the 13 toilet sites. By introducing carefully designed layouts and equipment profiles to enhance the user experience, each site was enabled to meet the specific demands of the location and the pattern of use.

  • Layout and equipment improving hygiene, maximising the efficiency of use and delivering a more desirable experience for each user.
  • Materials used to facilitate more efficient and effective cleaning regimes, reducing maintenance costs and downtime.
  • Utility costs reduced through the application of environmentally friendly products and direct management of utility suppliers
  • Charging for use was introduced at a modest level to positively impact operational costs
  • A combined cleaning and maintenance service is used to optimise the daily operation of the facilities and to maximise productivity
  • The redesign of the facilities optimised the use of the existing floor plan by creating serviced areas which are subsequently sub-let to generate additional incomes.

The Results

  • The time required to service the facilities has been reduced by 60%
  • Facilities are operational as required with remotely adjustable opening and closing times
  • Vandalism has been reduced to a minimum
  • Utility costs have been reduced by 50%
  • Significant income is generated via charges for toilet use and sub-let of commerical outlets

“Coppergate is one of the main toilets in York City Centre, it is located adjacent to one of the largest car parks in the City making this, alongside our Silver Street Toilets, one of the busiest toilets in York.

The toilets had not been refurbished since they were built in the 70’s/80’s and we approached Healthmatic to look at refurbishing both Coppergate and Silver Street as they are business partners for the Public Toilets in York.

We worked together to successfully receive money for a capital project to refurbish both facilities, Healthmatic agreed to carry out this work as close to cost as possible as the refurbishment would see an improvement to the facilities and enable their staff to deliver a far better experience for users of these going forward.

When the toilets were opened, the results far exceeded our expecations, the facilities were brought right up to date and our customer complaints disappeared overnight. The feedback from the public has been very complimentary and the Council feel the capital money has been spent well in improving both sets of toilets.”

Dave Meigh – Operation Manager, City of York Council

To read more about Healthmatic public toilets and see if they can save you money, click here.


In 2013, City of York Council recognised the importance of improving their public toilets and the potential value in doing so. The Healthmatic model, not only modernised and improved the quality of facilities provided for public use but also reduced the annual operating costs by over 80%.

“…the results far exceeded our expectations, the facilities were brought up to date and our customer complaints disappeared overnight.”

  • 50% reduction in utility bill
  • Sub-lets introduced raising revenue for the City and the Council
  • 87% reduction in overall costs

The Situation at York Public Toilets

City of York Council were spending over half a million pounds per annum on the 13 public toilets available for use across the city. The toilets were built back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. They were tired and dated in appearance, unreliable in operation and did not offer a pleasant experience for the user. They weren’t meeting the expectations of the large volume of visitors to the city, not the local communities. Complaints were common and the cost of upkeep just kept increasing.

The Solution

Healthmatic, having performed detailed surveys of each location, not just focusing on the building and the facilities but also considering the volume of use and the user profile, completely redesigned the 13 toilet sites. By introducing carefully designed layouts and equipment profiles to enhance the user experience, each site was enabled to meet the specific demands of the location and the pattern of use.

  • Layout and equipment improving hygiene, maximising the efficiency of use and delivering a more desirable experience for each user.
  • Materials used to facilitate more efficient and effective cleaning regimes, reducing maintenance costs and downtime.
  • Utility costs reduced through the application of environmentally friendly products and direct management of utility suppliers
  • Charging for use was introduced at a modest level to positively impact operational costs
  • A combined cleaning and maintenance service is used to optimise the daily operation of the facilities and to maximise productivity
  • The redesign of the facilities optimised the use of the existing floor plan by creating serviced areas which are subsequently sub-let to generate additional incomes.

The Results

  • The time required to service the facilities has been reduced by 60%
  • Facilities are operational as required with remotely adjustable opening and closing times
  • Vandalism has been reduced to a minimum
  • Utility costs have been reduced by 50%
  • Significant income is generated via charges for toilet use and sub-let of commerical outlets

“Coppergate is one of the main toilets in York City Centre, it is located adjacent to one of the largest car parks in the City making this, alongside our Silver Street Toilets, one of the busiest toilets in York.

The toilets had not been refurbished since they were built in the 70’s/80’s and we approached Healthmatic to look at refurbishing both Coppergate and Silver Street as they are business partners for the Public Toilets in York.

We worked together to successfully receive money for a capital project to refurbish both facilities, Healthmatic agreed to carry out this work as close to cost as possible as the refurbishment would see an improvement to the facilities and enable their staff to deliver a far better experience for users of these going forward.

When the toilets were opened, the results far exceeded our expecations, the facilities were brought right up to date and our customer complaints disappeared overnight. The feedback from the public has been very complimentary and the Council feel the capital money has been spent well in improving both sets of toilets.”

Dave Meigh – Operation Manager, City of York Council

To read more about Healthmatic public toilets and see if they can save you money, click here.


In 2013, City of York Council recognised the importance of improving their public toilets and the potential value in doing so. The Healthmatic model, not only modernised and improved the quality of facilities provided for public use but also reduced the annual operating costs by over 80%.

“…the results far exceeded our expectations, the facilities were brought up to date and our customer complaints disappeared overnight.”

  • 50% reduction in utility bill
  • Sub-lets introduced raising revenue for the City and the Council
  • 87% reduction in overall costs

The Situation at York Public Toilets

City of York Council were spending over half a million pounds per annum on the 13 public toilets available for use across the city. The toilets were built back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. They were tired and dated in appearance, unreliable in operation and did not offer a pleasant experience for the user. They weren’t meeting the expectations of the large volume of visitors to the city, not the local communities. Complaints were common and the cost of upkeep just kept increasing.

The Solution

Healthmatic, having performed detailed surveys of each location, not just focusing on the building and the facilities but also considering the volume of use and the user profile, completely redesigned the 13 toilet sites. By introducing carefully designed layouts and equipment profiles to enhance the user experience, each site was enabled to meet the specific demands of the location and the pattern of use.

  • Layout and equipment improving hygiene, maximising the efficiency of use and delivering a more desirable experience for each user.
  • Materials used to facilitate more efficient and effective cleaning regimes, reducing maintenance costs and downtime.
  • Utility costs reduced through the application of environmentally friendly products and direct management of utility suppliers
  • Charging for use was introduced at a modest level to positively impact operational costs
  • A combined cleaning and maintenance service is used to optimise the daily operation of the facilities and to maximise productivity
  • The redesign of the facilities optimised the use of the existing floor plan by creating serviced areas which are subsequently sub-let to generate additional incomes.

The Results

  • The time required to service the facilities has been reduced by 60%
  • Facilities are operational as required with remotely adjustable opening and closing times
  • Vandalism has been reduced to a minimum
  • Utility costs have been reduced by 50%
  • Significant income is generated via charges for toilet use and sub-let of commerical outlets

“Coppergate is one of the main toilets in York City Centre, it is located adjacent to one of the largest car parks in the City making this, alongside our Silver Street Toilets, one of the busiest toilets in York.

The toilets had not been refurbished since they were built in the 70’s/80’s and we approached Healthmatic to look at refurbishing both Coppergate and Silver Street as they are business partners for the Public Toilets in York.

We worked together to successfully receive money for a capital project to refurbish both facilities, Healthmatic agreed to carry out this work as close to cost as possible as the refurbishment would see an improvement to the facilities and enable their staff to deliver a far better experience for users of these going forward.

When the toilets were opened, the results far exceeded our expecations, the facilities were brought right up to date and our customer complaints disappeared overnight. The feedback from the public has been very complimentary and the Council feel the capital money has been spent well in improving both sets of toilets.”

Dave Meigh – Operation Manager, City of York Council

To read more about Healthmatic public toilets and see if they can save you money, click here.


In 2013, City of York Council recognised the importance of improving their public toilets and the potential value in doing so. The Healthmatic model, not only modernised and improved the quality of facilities provided for public use but also reduced the annual operating costs by over 80%.

“…the results far exceeded our expectations, the facilities were brought up to date and our customer complaints disappeared overnight.”

  • 50% reduction in utility bill
  • Sub-lets introduced raising revenue for the City and the Council
  • 87% reduction in overall costs

The Situation at York Public Toilets

City of York Council were spending over half a million pounds per annum on the 13 public toilets available for use across the city. The toilets were built back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. They were tired and dated in appearance, unreliable in operation and did not offer a pleasant experience for the user. They weren’t meeting the expectations of the large volume of visitors to the city, not the local communities. Complaints were common and the cost of upkeep just kept increasing.

The Solution

Healthmatic, having performed detailed surveys of each location, not just focusing on the building and the facilities but also considering the volume of use and the user profile, completely redesigned the 13 toilet sites. By introducing carefully designed layouts and equipment profiles to enhance the user experience, each site was enabled to meet the specific demands of the location and the pattern of use.

  • Layout and equipment improving hygiene, maximising the efficiency of use and delivering a more desirable experience for each user.
  • Materials used to facilitate more efficient and effective cleaning regimes, reducing maintenance costs and downtime.
  • Utility costs reduced through the application of environmentally friendly products and direct management of utility suppliers
  • Charging for use was introduced at a modest level to positively impact operational costs
  • A combined cleaning and maintenance service is used to optimise the daily operation of the facilities and to maximise productivity
  • The redesign of the facilities optimised the use of the existing floor plan by creating serviced areas which are subsequently sub-let to generate additional incomes.

The Results

  • The time required to service the facilities has been reduced by 60%
  • Facilities are operational as required with remotely adjustable opening and closing times
  • Vandalism has been reduced to a minimum
  • Utility costs have been reduced by 50%
  • Significant income is generated via charges for toilet use and sub-let of commerical outlets

“Coppergate is one of the main toilets in York City Centre, it is located adjacent to one of the largest car parks in the City making this, alongside our Silver Street Toilets, one of the busiest toilets in York.

The toilets had not been refurbished since they were built in the 70’s/80’s and we approached Healthmatic to look at refurbishing both Coppergate and Silver Street as they are business partners for the Public Toilets in York.

We worked together to successfully receive money for a capital project to refurbish both facilities, Healthmatic agreed to carry out this work as close to cost as possible as the refurbishment would see an improvement to the facilities and enable their staff to deliver a far better experience for users of these going forward.

When the toilets were opened, the results far exceeded our expecations, the facilities were brought right up to date and our customer complaints disappeared overnight. The feedback from the public has been very complimentary and the Council feel the capital money has been spent well in improving both sets of toilets.”

Dave Meigh – Operation Manager, City of York Council

To read more about Healthmatic public toilets and see if they can save you money, click here.


In 2013, City of York Council recognised the importance of improving their public toilets and the potential value in doing so. The Healthmatic model, not only modernised and improved the quality of facilities provided for public use but also reduced the annual operating costs by over 80%.

“…the results far exceeded our expectations, the facilities were brought up to date and our customer complaints disappeared overnight.”

  • 50% reduction in utility bill
  • Sub-lets introduced raising revenue for the City and the Council
  • 87% reduction in overall costs

The Situation at York Public Toilets

City of York Council were spending over half a million pounds per annum on the 13 public toilets available for use across the city. The toilets were built back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. They were tired and dated in appearance, unreliable in operation and did not offer a pleasant experience for the user. They weren’t meeting the expectations of the large volume of visitors to the city, not the local communities. Complaints were common and the cost of upkeep just kept increasing.

The Solution

Healthmatic, having performed detailed surveys of each location, not just focusing on the building and the facilities but also considering the volume of use and the user profile, completely redesigned the 13 toilet sites. By introducing carefully designed layouts and equipment profiles to enhance the user experience, each site was enabled to meet the specific demands of the location and the pattern of use.

  • Layout and equipment improving hygiene, maximising the efficiency of use and delivering a more desirable experience for each user.
  • Materials used to facilitate more efficient and effective cleaning regimes, reducing maintenance costs and downtime.
  • Utility costs reduced through the application of environmentally friendly products and direct management of utility suppliers
  • Charging for use was introduced at a modest level to positively impact operational costs
  • A combined cleaning and maintenance service is used to optimise the daily operation of the facilities and to maximise productivity
  • The redesign of the facilities optimised the use of the existing floor plan by creating serviced areas which are subsequently sub-let to generate additional incomes.

The Results

  • The time required to service the facilities has been reduced by 60%
  • Facilities are operational as required with remotely adjustable opening and closing times
  • Vandalism has been reduced to a minimum
  • Utility costs have been reduced by 50%
  • Significant income is generated via charges for toilet use and sub-let of commerical outlets

“Coppergate is one of the main toilets in York City Centre, it is located adjacent to one of the largest car parks in the City making this, alongside our Silver Street Toilets, one of the busiest toilets in York.

The toilets had not been refurbished since they were built in the 70’s/80’s and we approached Healthmatic to look at refurbishing both Coppergate and Silver Street as they are business partners for the Public Toilets in York.

We worked together to successfully receive money for a capital project to refurbish both facilities, Healthmatic agreed to carry out this work as close to cost as possible as the refurbishment would see an improvement to the facilities and enable their staff to deliver a far better experience for users of these going forward.

When the toilets were opened, the results far exceeded our expecations, the facilities were brought right up to date and our customer complaints disappeared overnight. The feedback from the public has been very complimentary and the Council feel the capital money has been spent well in improving both sets of toilets.”

Dave Meigh – Operation Manager, City of York Council

To read more about Healthmatic public toilets and see if they can save you money, click here.