Monday, 1 May 2017

Disabled toilets in the UK - JD Wetherspoon, I'm talking to you.

Whilst I appreciate there is a lack of space in older buildings and disabilities vary from wheelchair users to those who are mobile and those with hidden disabilities, there is no excuse for the toilets and facilities to be so dirty.

A disabled person has the right to use public toilets like everyone else, but for someone with a disability toilets are often needed fast and in many places they are shared with the baby changing units, meaning long waits and as they tend to be on the ground floor in public buildings, they are often locked requiring the user to go and fetch the key before they can gain entry.

Our 29 year old daughter is profoundly disabled, she can walk short distances, but wears nappies and requires changing in the upright position fortunately, I have no idea how people manage when they are out if their family member needs changing in their chair as the baby changing units won't support heavier weights.

If I'm out with our daughter on my own, I too need to use the disabled toilet as I cannot leave her outside a public cubicle or even ask a member of the public to keep an eye on her, as she can lash out without warning and left unattended will wander off and is a danger to herself.

When our daughter needs to be changed, I need a clean toilet with running water, soap, toilet paper, a sink big enough to wash my hands in, something to dry my hands on, a shelf to put her bag on and more importantly a clean floor that I often have to kneel on whilst changing her.

Disposable gloves would be too much to ask for.

What I found on my last visit to the UK was over flowing nappy and sanitary bins, that were dirty, where foot pedals didn't work, broken changing tables, emergency pull cords that were hanging over the sink, lack of rails for our daughter to support herself with when standing, no soap, broken hand dryers and taps that didn't work. I opted not to take photo's of over flowing bins.

This tap didn't work and there was no soap, I was unable to take my daughter to the upstairs toilets so I could wash my hands after changing a full nappy full of faeces and I had to use baby wipes only before eating my meal and feeding her.

I complained in every place I visited where the toilets were as above, but the staff weren't interested and I didn't have time to wait for the toilet to be cleaned, which obviously wasn't an option anyway. I congratulated the staff at the Cafe Nero in Monmouth for keeping their toilets spotless. Sadly this was not a toilet I visited with my daughter, I just popped my head in to see how toilets varied from place to place.
The toilet in Costa Coffee in Monmouth.

It's not difficult to keep a toilet cleaned and well stocked, life is hard enough with a disabled adult child as it is, without all this.

JD Wetherspoon in Gloucester, you really need to up your game, we won't be visiting there again and I doubt the staff passed on my complaint to anyone either. Sadly it wasn't just the Gloucester branch. We tend to take our daughter to your establishments as the food is prepared quickly and brought to the table, but the lack of empathy from the staff leaves a lot to be desired when I ask for table service as I can't take my daughter to stand at the bar and manage her and drinks back to the table.

The supermarkets don't fare much better in Gloucester in regards to cleanliness but staff are far more helpful and will help when asked.

26 comments:

  1. That's awful! I can't believe a toilet would have broken taps and no soap! It shows an utter lack of consideration for disabled people and their carers.
    Well done to Caffe Nero in Monmouth though. It looks like you could eat your dinner in there!

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    1. I know it was really bad, it's not always easy to check them out before we need to use one

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  2. It is awful that not all facilities are up to the standard they should be.
    #TriumphantTales

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    1. i informed the staff, they weren't that bothered

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  3. This is awful! They should be ashamed! I don't use disabled toilets, but I always use baby changing toilets when I go out with my little ones, and I have to say I haven't found a single room yet that looks up to scratch. I feel like maybe they just ignore the disabled and changing toilets!

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    1. i don't think they employ enough staff to keep a check on the toilets, more an after thought

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  4. Delighted to read that there are some good disabled toilets now in Monmouth for when I eventually go back to visit

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    1. i think i need to do a check in advance before i take our daughter out next time

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  5. This is absolutely appalling. As an ex-public health officer this fills me with horror. It is simply not acceptable to have no water supply and no soap to a wash hand basin. Good for you for complaining, I hope something was done about it. Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. sadly complaining got me no where, i couldn't come out to complain until after i'd finished changing her

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  6. You shouldn't have to put up with this Christine. I shudder at the state of some public toilets in establishments and unfortunately it is a common theme. I know there is another blogger that campaigns for the very same. The thing is, it's not difficult providing someone is taking responsibility - which they clearly aren't. Bearing in mind the disabled toilet is also the only place for baby changing in many places too, it really does need addressing. A lovely picture of you and all of your tribe by the way. Thanks for sharing with us at #tweensteensbeyond, Nicky

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  7. Sadly this post doesn't surprise me. I have had to use disabled toilets in the past as like you say, they double up as baby changing, and more recently, when little man was just beginning his toilet training, when we needed to get to a toilet in a hurry. On more than one occasion, I have been shocked at the state of them. It's like they get forgotten! It's really not good enough. I would be making a complaint to Wetherspoon's head office if I were you. Thanks for linking to #TriumphantTales, we'd love to see you back next week :)

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    1. i will be making the complaint direct with wetherspoons as they haven't responded on social media

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  8. Oh no! That is awful but sadly doesn't surprise me. I remember when my girls were little and so many of the baby changing facilities were in disabled toilets and they were always so dirty. :(
    #PoCoLo

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    1. there are so many more disabled toilets and baby changing rooms than there used to be, but still pretty much forgotten about

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  9. Oh how maddening for you and your daughter 😕
    Alot of places keep the key at the bar to stop other uses messing up the disabled toilets (which sadly happens alot)
    #PoCoLo

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    1. the key was at the bar in this case, but staff didn't check the toilets in-between uses

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  10. I have a few relatives who need to use disabled toilets and I'd like to say this is a one off, but sadly it is all too common. There should be somewhere you can report them to and fines issued like they do for unhygienic kitchens. #pocolo

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    1. that's what i was thinking, disabled toilets aren't a choice

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  11. Oh this is awful! My experience of baby changing facilities too is shocking to think how places disregard this and disabled loos. I wish they changed their ways - and more so make it male friendly! as a new mum who barely gets a hot meal, youd love the dad to go change babys bum, not be restricted and HAVING to do it everytime!
    Thank you for linking up to #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow

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    1. i will be making a point on my next uk trip of recording and making complaints where necessary

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  12. How shocking and completely unnecessary too - and sounds as if a pre-visit beforehand is the only way to know, but really, that shouldn't be necessary. Glad to see that Monmouth coffee shop blazing a trail for others to follow, thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo and hopefully you'll see some improvements

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    1. i can't always do a pre visit as i never know at what point she needs to be changed, sadly

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  13. It sounds like you've had quite a few awful experiences that are totally unacceptable. When my son was 5 and still in pull ups and nappies I used to get looks for just walking into the disabled toilets and I struggles to get him on the table which I am certain wasn't for his weight. I know the struggles of trying to do it standing up so I can only imagine what it must be like trying to do it with an adult.

    #SpectrumSunday

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    1. i have to use disabled toilets when I'm out with our daughter as she'd wander off from outside a cubicle

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