Access to toilets

Access to toilets

Statement 6.2

Where ensuite rooms are not available, inpatients with IBD should have a minimum of one easily accessible toilet per three beds on a ward.

Why is it important?

A frequent, unpredictable and urgent need to use the toilet is a common symptom of IBD. Three quarters of people with IBD experience bowel incontinence. Together with loss of sleep and the invisible symptoms of pain and fatigue, the frequent need to use a toilet can severely affect self-esteem and social functioning. This is particularly true for young and newly diagnosed people.

Many people understandably feel anxious about losing bowel control when they’re not in a familiar environment. This includes being an inpatient in hospital. If an inpatient with IBD is located near accessible toilet facilities, it can significantly lower their levels of anxiety during their period of treatment.

Toilets should be clean, have full-length doors, be well ventilated and have separate facilities for men and women to minimise embarrassment and anxiety. There should also be enough space for people to change and dispose of stoma equipment comfortably.

Further information

View the Not Every Disability is Visible campaign from Crohn's & Colitis UK

At my worst I was opening my bowels 52 times a day when I was in hospital. I was so grateful that my bed was close to the loo.