"No facilites in the 'disabled' toilets"

About: St Richard's Hospital

We came for a dental appointment recently and needed a changing place facility. We require a toilet room with a hoist and changing bench for an adult. Not everyone in a wheelchair can sit onto a toilet. You are a specialist dentist, which we have to travel, nearly an hour each way to. We are unable to go to our local dentist as need the specialist care. Due to the long distance, we needed to use a changing place. We were amazed that you did not have to appropriate facilities. Not that this is the receptionists fault, but obviously they were the people we spoke to, We were very surprised to hear this issue hasn't come up before. We know many people who need this dentist that are hoisted and can not believe we are the first ones to need a changing place! we were told its probably a health and safety issue!! Its a basic human right to be able to go to the toilet. Its very embarrassing for someone to be soiled and smelling and to then have to go into a dental appointment! Its uncomfortable enough to have someone examaning your teeth, but to be sat there in a soiled pad at the same time is discusting! Also we could tell everyone in the appointment was feeling the same about the smell! After the appoinment someone managed to find us a bed in the recovery room, not at all ideal.There were a few people post op's who then had to encounter the smell too.:(. Totally embarrasing. We have policies of no lifting. But thankfully mum was there and able to do the lifting.

We have to encounter these issues so regulalry where a disabled toilet only consists of a toilet and a person who is unable to transfer has, yet again, been ignored. But to discover this issue in a specialist place has really upset us. Its left us feeling 'Because they are in a wheel chair and non verbal they do not matter' 'They don't have the same rights' I'm sure not all people realise but there are many wheelchair users who need to be transferred onto a bench to be changed. we have heard that the hospital has a rehab centre, If its not possible to put a changing place into the denal surgery then somewhere in the hospital would be great! Its a very easy thing to have a hoist and adult sized changing unit installed. This dilemma has been on channel four news recently. Please look up channel four news 'lots od disabled toilets' to see the videoPlease look into this issue asap. Many thanks, Amy and team

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Response from St Richard's Hospital

Thank you for your post onto this site and in the circumstances you describe can appreciate your concern about the lack of consideration for our disabled users.

We are not sure of the department you visited.

However the Community Dental service in the Jubilee Centre is not one of our services although the clinic is held on our premises.

Therefore in order that we can follow this up in the most appropriate way, please can you contact our Patient Advice & Liaison department on 01243 831822 or by e-mail to palschichester@wsht.nhs.uk so that we can discuss this further with you.

In the meantime we will forward your message onto our moving and handling lead for their information.

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