LETTER: Lack of toilets forcing more into isolation
A reader urges councils to make toilet facilities' status clear on their websites.
Public toilet facilities have begun to reopen but many councils aren’t making it clear on their websites whether their facilities are available for public use and whether new social distancing and hygiene practices have been put in place to keep visitors safe, and this is leaving those with bladder and bowel conditions feeling too anxious to leave their homes. Please can all shopping centres and high street retailers make this simple online update.
It is estimated that a staggering 14 million people in the UK suffer from some form of bladder condition and 6.5 million with a bowel condition. That means that a large portion of the population who could start to leave the home or go back to work have been left trapped and housebound for fear of having an accident whilst out.
In a recent short poll conducted by the Bladder and Bowel Community 94 per cent of the community when asked felt anxious about leaving their homes due to a lack of toilet facilities₂ and just over 90 per cent felt that they can’t leave their homes to go to work or visit the shops for the same reason. This has led to many sufferers feeling isolated and depressed.
Bladder and Bowel Community wish to encourage sufferers and retailers to adopt and recognise the ‘Just Can’t Wait’ toilet card scheme. A free toilet card can be provided by the Bladder and Bowel Community, which allows sufferers to quickly and discreetly communicate whilst out if they’re in urgent need of access to a toilet.
We want everyone to feel confident enough to leave their homes and welcome opportunities to speak to businesses and organisations such as those in retail, hospitality and transport to support the provision of toilet facilities across the UK.
To find out more about the Bladder and Bowel Community and the Just Can’t Wait card scheme, visit the website bladderandbowel.org/.
Joanne Umbers, Bladder and Bowel Community