As part of recent upgrades quite a few UK airports have addressed the increasing need to offer a changing area for disabled passengers and their carers to use. We’ve compiled a list of the Changing Places facilities that are already installed at airports and available for access.
What is a Changing Place?
Changing Places is a campaign on behalf of people who are unable to use standard accessible toilets. Changing Places are usually more spacious and fitted with advanced equipment, such as a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist; they provide disabled users, family members and carers a private, comfortable and hygienic space.
Who should use Changing Places facility?
Severely disabled people, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities have access to these facilities to meet their needs. They are welcome to use the facilities assisted by their family members or carers, as there’s plenty of room space allocated for those who provide help.
Changing Places at UK Airports
UK’s leading airports have stepped up and installed a list of Changing Places facilities. Airports that do have them use the Changing Places logo in their directional signs.
You can now find Changing Places facilities at the following airports:
Two Changing Places facilities, one in Terminal 2 and one in Terminal 5. Heathrow Changing Places facilities include a height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench, a hoist, a shower facility, extra wide rolls of paper, and non-slip floors.
The T5 Changing Places facility is called the Lichfield Suite as it was designed in conjunction with the Clough family of Lichfield, in partnership with the UK charity, Changing Places.
The Lichfield Suite is situated in T5 opposite Gate 20 and 21 and is aimed at people with more severe disabilities, both physical and learning, and for whom standard disabled facilities may not be enough.
The Terminal 2 Changing Places facility is situated on the arrivals level, airside, opposite Gate 18.
Two adult Changing Places facilities, one in South Terminal and one in North Terminal. The facilities at Gatwick airport include an adjustable bed which lowers to ground level, a hoist and flexible wash basins, a large wash room, and full shower facilities. These facilities are free to use. No pre-booking is required. Please contact a member of the PRM (Persons with Reduced Mobility) staff on the day.
There are two facilities in the airport; one located landside in Arrivals and the other is airside in the departures lounge.
Three Changing Places facilities are located air-side within the departure lounge in each terminal: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3.
Manchester Airport Changing Places are fitted with the following equipment: an overhead full room coverage hoist system (sling not provided), a mobile hydraulic height adjustable changing bench, a wide tear off paper dispenser; a privacy screen, a peninsular conventional close coupled WC with grab rails and support arms, an electrical height adjustable sink.
Manchester Airport does not provide slings, advising customers to bring their own sling (loop fastening slings are compatible). Customers should return the hoist it to the charging point after use so that the next person will be able to use it.
There are some weight limits applied to the equipment: for basin use – 100 kgs, for bench use – 190 kgs, and for hoist use – 200 kgs. Sling safe working load is 31 stone.
This is an unmanned facility and users must satisfy themselves as to its suitability prior to use. Contact 0330 333 0304 for more information and to get the pin code to use the facility on your departure date.
Changing Places facility is situated in the departure lounge near the toilets behind WHSmith Books. The room contains: a height adjustable changing bench; a hoist system to lift between wheelchair, toilet and bench, plenty of space for the bench and toilet to be approached from either side.
To access the facility you will require an entry code, which you can get from the OCS Special Assistance desk at the time of booking or by using the courtesy phone provided.
Customers should bring their own slings (compatible with the loop system) as no slings are provided by the airport for health and safety reasons.
East Midlands Airport
The Changing Places toilet is located as part of a suite of toilets on the first floor. Open 24 hours a day / 7 days per week. Facilities include: a changing Bench (height adjustable, adult sized, free standing); a ceiling track hoist; a toilet unit with room either side for the carers.
George Best Belfast City Airport
George Best Belfast City airport was the first airport in the UK to publicly support the Changing Places campaign by introducing a Changing Places toilet. Located before security.
Leeds Bradford Airport
A dedicated Changing Places room is situated within the departure lounge.
The Changing Places toilet is located in the Check-In, before security.
Where can I find Changing Places facilities?
There are now 735 registered Changing Places in the UK, including those at the UK airports. Use this searchable map to find Changing Places facilities across the UK, as well as their opening times and detailed descriptions of the equipment available for use.