Changing Places Reviews

‘Changing Places’ – Coventry University: Alison Gingell Building

There was no indication that there was a ‘Changing Places’ facility located in Coventry University itself. The ones listed were located in the city. After visiting Coventry University, I found a ‘Changing Places’ was in fact located in the Alison Gingell Building, the Health and Sciences building. It wasn’t exactly classed as a ‘Changing Places’ facility and therefore wasn’t featured on the official app.

You wouldn’t know the facility has a hoist unless you ask. It’s not indicated as one and is hidden down the far end of the building. The toilet has not got the correct sign indicating a ‘Changing Places’ facility. The bathroom is referred to as a disabled toilet that has a shower in it. There is no radar key lock on this facility door. I was disappointed but not shocked to see a sign that says ‘Please respect this is a disabled toilet’ but there was no mention of the hoist and other equipment.

The space within the actual facility was decent. It was not as large as facilities that I have seen but it enough room for myself and my PA the manoeuvre around in. I was a little disappointed by the size, I expected it to be bigger given the extent of equipment in the room. Despite it being a small facility and the toilet having a standard lock on the door, I was pleasantly surprised by how clean the bathroom was. The sign on the door saying that this is a disabled toilet has contributed to the cleanliness I’m sure and I am glad to see the cleaners are going in there regularly.

Unfortunately, there was no screen of privacy within the facility. I was just thankful that the toilet wasn’t positioned opposite the door, which could have easily been unlocked by anyone. There were hangers to place our coats and bags which made moving around easier. Within the facility, there is a ceiling hoist, changing bed and shower all of which looked very clean. The ceiling track seems to go to all parts of the facility which is definitely helpful, and the shower provides extra hygiene levels, so I’m really happy about this. Not many ‘Changing Places’ toilet have shower adaptions. The changing bed also there, folded up to provide space and shows understanding for some students who are not able to use the toilet itself.  I was pleased considering this wasn’t a facility located on the official app.

 A major criticism I have for the facility is the operation of the ceiling track hoist. Only on my last two visits have I found the track hoist to be operational and this only due to my prompting of the university pointing out that I was disabled and commuted regularly for classes. I think people need to be more vigilant with facilities like this and ensure that all equipment is working accordingly especially the ceiling hoist. It is vital for someone with a disability to use this facility.

Coventry University is one of the few universities along with the University of Birmingham that I know has this official ‘Changing Places’ facility. By all means, use the facility if you need to when on or around campus as it’s got everything a ‘Changing Places’ facility should have. Just be wary of whether the equipment has been charged and correctly looked after.

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