New Changing Places toilet opens at Harefield Hospital

A new, fully accessible Changing Places toilet has been installed at Harefield Hospital for patients, visitors and staff.

Changing Places toilets are specially equipped for people with significant learning and physical disabilities, and their carers, to use safely and with dignity. Different to a standard accessible toilet, a Changing Places toilet offers more space to accommodate two carers and a person, and includes a height adjustable toilet, sink, an adult-sized changing bench, hoist and shower.

The Changing Places toilet is the first of its kind to be installed at Harefield Hospital, and is Harefield village’s first. A second Changing Places facility will open at Royal Brompton Hospital later this year.

Ras Kahai, cardiorespiratory dietitian, and Katharine Scott, lead for older people and physical disabilities, spearheaded the initiative, as part of their work leading the hospitals’ disability and wellness network (DAWN).

“Having a Changing Places toilet on site is a significant step towards ensuring we meet the needs of people with complex care needs,” said Ras.

“As a wheelchair user, having access to sufficient space and appropriate facilities is tantamount to knowing that I, and many others, have a clean, suitable and safe space which supports our mobility rather than reduces it.”

It is thought that more than a quarter of a million people across the UK depend on Changing Places toilets.

“Imagine having to base your plans around whether or not there will be a suitable toilet for you to use,” Katharine added.

“For people needing purpose-built facilities, including many who come onto our sites, this is the decision they face every day, so we are proud they can come to our hospitals knowing they’ll be able go to the toilet with dignity and freedom.”

Robert Craig, director of operations and executive sponsor of the disability and wellness network, said: “The Changing Places toilet at Harefield – and soon at Royal Brompton – is the culmination of a lot of hard work by many individuals tirelessly championing initiatives that can be life changing for our patients, visitors and staff, and I hope the new facilities will go some way to improving their experience at our hospitals.”


The Changing Places toilet is located next to Harefield Hospital’s restaurant, The Hungry Hare, located opposite the main hospital entrance, and is open from 8am to 6pm every day.

Visit the Changing Places website for more information.