Monthly Archives: November 2017

Mumsnet Toilet Debate

A mum has sparked a fierce debate online after revealing her husband takes their daughter into the ladies’ toilets when they’re out in public. Taking to MUMSNET, the mum explained that she had told her hubby that other women would not “like” the fact that he escorted their four-year-old into the ladies’ loos. She wrote: “Help dh [darling husband] and I with a disagreement please. “When dd [darling daughter], four, needs the loo in a public place, he takes her to the ladies’ loos. “I told him that women don’t like that and he should take her to the men’s loo. Am I being unreasonable or is he?”

Needless to say, many were quick to wade into the debate – and the reaction was pretty mixed. Some agreed, saying “adult men should never be in women’s toilets” – while others sympathised with the dad’s plights and said that they could understand why he wouldn’t want to take the little girl into the men’s loos.

One wrote: “Would prefer to see a man take his daughter into ladies if no family/disabled toilet available. Don’t think any young child needs urinal or stinky cubicle exposure.”

Another added: “I can see this from both sides, it wouldn’t bother me but I know how it could upset others.

Someone else wrote: “I would have no issue with seeing a man in the ladies loo with a small child needing a wee.

“I really wouldn’t want my DD at the age of four heading into the men’s loos, they stink!”

Several people even suggested that he should take her to the disabled toilet instead – which sparked further debate about whether this would be appropriate or not.

BTA logo PMS

The BTA Director found himself locked in the BBC studios faced with interviews from 18 regional and national radio stations, who became embroiled in this debate. The discussions covered a range of issues from male and female using the alternative provision, right or wrong, through gender neutral toilets and to the use of accessible facilities by the general public.

Whilst there is no immediate solution, without significant investment in more toilets and better overall provision across the country, it continues to highlight the shortfall in government investment in the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors across the UK.


Sainsbury’s introduce Dementia-friendly toilets

Sainsbury’s has become the first supermarket to introduce ‘dementia-friendly’ signs in all store toilets, thanks to a campaigning pensioner who was repeatedly forced to rescue her husband – who suffered from Alzheimer’s – as he tried to find his way to and from the loos. The make-over will include large, colourful ‘way out’ signs to prevent confusion among customers who suffer with memory problems.

Many hospitals have also taken measures to become more dementia-friendly over the past few years, incorporating high-contrast measures to show where the floor joins the wall, visual breaks to mark where handrails are ending and doors painted in distinctive colour. Researchers have also identified that light plays a key role for elderly people, with estimates suggesting that people over the age of 75 need roughly twice as much light as their younger contemporaries in order to see satisfactorily.

Commenting on Sainsbury’s decision, Emma Bould – programme partnership project manager at the Alzheimer’s Society – said:

“We are delighted to see toilets with dementia friendly signage being installed nationally at all Sainsbury’s stores by March 2018. Finding and exiting toilets can often be confusing for people living with dementia, causing anxiety when they are out and about. This small but significant step will enable people with dementia to quickly find the exit, while also making the route clearer to all customers.”

Sainsburys store front


The Road Haulage Association has expressed its relief at news that the Health and Safety Executive has reviewed it’s approach concerning access to facilities for visiting delivery drivers and has re-examined the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, in particular Regs 20 and 21.

They are now in the process of updating their guidance to say that drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work. As this is likely to take some time, key stakeholders are being informed now.

Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “If this industry is to retain a healthy, safe workforce, then drivers must have access to proper facilities. This problem for many members and their drivers is all too familiar. Visiting drivers are often refused access to toilet facilities at delivery sites – an unacceptable practice that we are determined to eradicate.”

“We have been working with campaigning group Truckers Toilets UK to improve this situation; not just at distribution centres but on the entire road network. We therefore consider it a considerable win for the entire industry that HSE have re-examined the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations and are going to update their guidance to say that drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work. These changes won’t happen overnight but key stakeholders are being informed now.

Concluding, Richard Burnett said: “The welfare of all workers is a priority and we have consistently said that drivers should have this sort of access. We also recognise that the majority of duty holders already provide reasonable access to toilets. However, it is appalling that in the 21st century we have to report on these issues. It is now our intention to carry out a geomapping exercise to show drivers where the best facilities are in the UK.