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Changing Places facilities

How a Changing Places toilet differs from an accessible WC

A standard, accessible WC is designed for independent use by an individual. Grabrails (fixed handrails) are usually at the side and rear of the WC, help the user self-transfer between a wheelchair and the WC. In some cases, a wheelchair user can be helped, but there is not usually enough room. Standard accessible WCs are designed to facilitate a standard wheelchair but are unlikely to accommodate other types, such as a powered wheelchair, or those with additional head or leg supports.

Changing Places toilets are designed for people who can’t use a standard accessible toilet. They should be provided in addition to single or gender-neutral toilets, standard accessible toilets and baby change facilities. Changing Places toilets are designed for people who need additional space, equipment and a carer. They also allow assistants to use the toilet without leaving the disabled person unattended.

A Changing Places facility must include:

  • height-adjustable, adult-sized changing bench
  • ceiling track hoist system
  • enough space for the disabled person and up to two assistants
  • peninsular toilet with space both sides for assistants
  • privacy screen
  • wide paper roll
  • large waste disposal bin
  • washbasin, preferably height adjustable
  • back rest on toilet seat

Changing Places locations

There are five Changing Places toilets in the Brentwood District, for people with disabilities who need help from their carer to use the toilet.

The Changing Places can be found at:

  • High Street, Brentwood
  • Hartswood Pavilion, King George’s Playing Fields, Brentwood  
  • kiosk near the splash pad in King George’s Playing Fields, Brentwood 
  • Brentwood Centre, Pilgrims Hatch, Brentwood
  • Town Hall, Ingrave Road, Brentwood

Apply for an entrance key

To use the Changing Places toilets, you need an entrance key.

To apply for an entrance key, you will need the name, address and contact details of the carer and the user, and evidence of eligibility for the higher rate Disability Living Allowance.

Once we receive your application, we will acknowledge your application within three working days, check that you have supplied all the information we need and issue your entrance key, if you are eligible

As a carer, you are responsible for safety at all times. We can’t offer advice or help when you are using the equipment.

If you are a carer and helping someone in a Changing Places toilet, you will need to:

  • be trained in using hoists and changing benches
  • know whether your slings are compatible with the joist, and not use the hoist if you are unsure
  • use the protective paper and remove it after use
  • dispose of all soiled material in the sanitary waste bin
  • take all soiled clothing away with you, and not use the basin or shower to wash it

The hoist has a maximum weight restriction of 31.5 stone, and the changing bench has a maximum weight restriction of 30 stone.

Individual cases can be discussed by emailing

If you don't need your changing places key, you can return it in a sealed envelope and post into the black post box outside the Town Hall reception with the carer's and user's name and address.