Friday, 5 April 2013

Don't Take Away Our Toilets!

Call me a bit weird but I have a problem asking the patients/clients/service users - hey let's call them people - that I visit  in my community health role if I can use their loo.  Somewhere along the line I decided that it was unprofessional to 'powder my nose' in their houses.  So it was with dismay that I read on our local BBC news site yesterday that South Hams District Council are considering shutting their public toilets over the winter period.  Eek! Where am I going to go if stuck out at Slapton or Salcombe?  Will it mean that I, like that binman in the news lately who resorted to pooing on someone's drive, will have to find alternative and wholly inappropriate? I really don't think so! Could a She-Wee possibly solve the liquid half of the problem?

When I was discharged from hospital after giving birth to Louis,  I was given, along with written instructions about pelvic floor exercises, a leaflet compiled by the midwives giving me details of where all the baby changing areas were in Central Exeter, the city where I lived then.  It was a godsend and gave me the confidence to go out, knowing that facilities were available to meet a basic need.  I can usually wait cross legged until I get back to base but I know of many others - elderly, disabled or mums where that pelvic floor advice just didn't work - need the reassurance that there will be toilets available.  Otherwise they will just not go out.          That leads to all sorts of physical and mental health deterioration.  My readers are sensible enough for me not to spell out the implications, I'm sure.  You're a savvy bunch.

And while I'm on my soapbox there's another thing.  Why should locals stump up for resources only available in the tourist season.  Shouldn't basic amenities be available to those living in communities all year round?


  1. I understand your pain. I had to resort to going behind the hedge in my lorry driving days. Not very ladylike at all, but had to be done.

  2. After four children I do plan my journeys around where the loos are likely to be. I whole-heartedly agree that public loos should be open all year.

  3. Hi I just wanted to say that every two weeks a nurse visits our home to give my husband his treatment. It is not allways the same nurse. And its never a problem for them to use our bathroom, we do not mind at all! I would feel bad if I thought they had to drive round looking for public loos! The public ones in our area have been closed for a few years now, though you can use the supermarket. But it is a pain to find public ones when visiting different areas.
    Ginny xx

  4. Hi! I think this is the first time I commented but have been reading your blog for awhile. Just wanted to say that we do not have any public restrooms here where I live U.S.). Never have had any! The closest thing to a public restroom would be in a supermarket or maybe a fast food restaurant. Other than that, there's nothing. Even the park in my town has no restrooms. It's awful. There you are, taking a nice walk through the park, and suddenly you need a loo, but you have to wait til you get home. So I understand fully how you feel.