Hospitals Trust awarded £100K to improve disabled facilities

the Clinical Skills Building at HRI
The Clinical Skills Building at Hull Royal Infirmary.

More than £100,000 of funding has been awarded to help improve accessibility, privacy and dignity for disabled people using local hospitals.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will receive £105,000 of government funding to create four new ‘Changing Places’ facilities across both Hull Royal infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital.

Hull receives the lion’s share of half a million pounds of capital funding being awarded to nine NHS Trusts today.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will match-fund the money received, and create Changing Places in the main entrance to Castle Hill Hospital and near to the main hospital restaurant, as well as in the Emergency Department at Hull Royal Infirmary and within HRI’s Clinical Skills Building.

Alex Best, Capital Development Manager for the trust says: “The current lack of ‘Changing Places’ facilities across our hospital estate is an issue which has not only been raised through our partners at East Yorkshire Disability Advisory Group, with whom we work closely on such matters, but which has also been highlighted in previous patient-led inspections of our hospitals.

“We’re extremely pleased to have been awarded funding to support Changing Places as this means we can now further improve accessibility for disabled visitors across both of our hospital sites.”

Work to create the Changing Places will begin next month, starting in the Emergency Department and at Castle Hill Hospital’s main entrance.  Each Changing Place will feature a disabled WC and wash basin, ceiling track hoist, height adjustable changing benches and an assistance alarm. Work will start on the subsequent two facilities in the Clinical Skills Building and by Castle Hill’s Nightingales restaurant in April.

There are currently only around 40 Changing Places on NHS premises across England but, over time, this tranche of funding will see the total number increase to more than 100.

Alex continues: “We’re really pleased to be able to start work on our new Changing Places facilities. They’re important as not only will they improve the offering that we are able to make to disabled patients, staff and visitors using our hospitals, but they will also serve as facilities for the wider local communities of Hull and Cottingham.”

For more information in Changing Places, visit www.changing-places.org

[Rachel Johnson – Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust]