We need more hotels with a ceiling hoist
The government have recently announced another £30M in funding for an additional 500 Changing Places, these are toilets with a changing bench and a hoist available and can be found in many shopping centres, sports venues and public buildings. It is great news that the Government are investing in these much-needed facilities. To date there are almost 2000 Changing Places throughout the UK. https://www.changing-places.org/
However, what do all these changing place users do when they want to stay away from home? They are fighting over just less than 20 hotels that have an accessible room with a hoist! Yes – less than 20! Of these 7 are in and around London, 10 are around the rest of the UK including 1 in Scotland and 1 in Wales. The other 2 offer specialist disability accommodation and only offer weekly bookings. So that is just 15 mainstream hotels for 250,000 potential customers. The situation is dire. CHuC has been campaigning for hotels to install hoists since 2006. In that time hotels have come and gone and until recently the figure was down to 12. In the past few months hotels have opened in Liverpool, Manchester and Leicester which is great news but we need hundreds more!
Of these new hotels the Brooklyn Hotels (part of Bespoke Hotels group) in Manchester and Leicester offer state of the art rooms designed by Motionspot with a recessed track for the hoist which doubles as a lighting feature and when not in use. The hoist is shut away in a cupboard on charge and ready for use. A modern hotel room with a hoist doesn’t need to look like a medical facility any more.
CHuC wants to start a national campaign to get more hoists installed in hotels. It’s time for change! Please contact us if you can help organise a campaign to get more hotels to install a ceiling hoist.
2 September 2022
An open letter to all Hotel Managers, Execs, CEOs and anyone responsible for the hotel accessibility policies.
It is 2022 and the world is full of wonderful technology which is enabling people to do things that hadn’t even been thought of, less dreamed about 40 years ago. Some 47 years ago we put a man on the moon using what is now considered ancient technology, but we still did it. In 2022 disabled people who want to stay in a hotel just like any other human being simply can’t just because they need some technology to support them, namely, a simple electro-mechanical ceiling hoist to get them from their wheelchair to the bed and back again. Is that too much to ask in 2022? Why in 2022 are there less than 14 hotels in the whole of the UK and Ireland who can offer their disabled guests a ceiling hoist? Of those hotels, 4 are specialist ones offering holiday and respite care especially for customers with disabilities. Outside of UK&I we are aware of just 10 more mainstream hotels who can provide their customers with a ceiling hoist and 7 of them are in Las Vegas!
I believe that all the people that this letter is aimed at should spend just 1 of their working days accompanying a wheelchair bound hoist user going about their daily life. I am sure it would change their attitude towards disability – I know it did mine. I was once a person in the street who hadn’t really given disabled people any real thought. I may have held a door open or moved out of the way but that was about the extent of my involvement.
I then met the late Sue Maynard Campbell MBE, Managing Director of the Disability Consultancy, Equal Ability, and the founder of the CHuC website. After a few hours I began to appreciate the hurdles she had to overcome just to go about her daily life. I had never bothered about a 3” step up into a shop or public space. I could just lift my feet and step up but to Sue in her wheelchair it was a barrier that she couldn’t pass. I began to see these barriers all around. The environment has improved but still has a long way to go. Some of it is physical adaption but education of able bodied people who don’t need to consider these barriers is just as, if not more, important. Why would you do something to overcome these obstacles if you don’t see them as such?
It is the same for hoist users. They are just normal people who want to do normal things like visit friends for a weekend or go to a reunion or just get away for a break but they can’t find anywhere within 100 miles of their chosen destination that can provide them with a ceiling hoist. Is this really 2022?
Modern ceiling hoists don’t need to be bulky and ugly spoiling the aesthetics of a hotel room. Track can be recessed into the ceiling and can even have built-in lighting to act as a ‘feature’ when a hoist is not in use. A hoist can be shut away in a nice looking bedside cupboard when not in use, charging the battery, so it is ready for use when required. A hoist installation isn’t that expensive at around £4-5K, not much in the big scheme of things but it makes many people’s lives just that little bit better!
A ceiling hoist in your hotel can bring in a lot more income, especially if you have meeting and conference facilities. People will book your facilities for receptions, conferences or parties because you have the hoist. It would be a positive asset! One major hotel chain say they identified an additional £300K of income in the first year after installing a ceiling hoist through conferences, receptions and meetings which were booked because they had the room with a ceiling hoist.
Lastly a plea to those who already have hoist, and those hotels who may install one, to publicise it! So many websites fail to mention anything about their hoist or else it is tucked away in the small print of their accessibility page (if they have one!). Embrace it - get the message out and people will come – use it as a USP!
Let’s make 2022 the year the world changed for ceiling hoist users!
Manager CHuC Website
15 March 2022
Manchester has a hoist!
At last Manchester has a hotel with a ceiling hoist - and what a hotel! Described as the most accessible hotel in UK they employed Motionspot as access designers. Loxated in the heart of Manchester it has 18 accessible room including one with a ceiling track hoist running in a recessed track which doubles as a lighting feature. The hoist parks in a cupboard when not in use. For more info click here.
Inclusive Hotels Network (IHN) Hoist Guidance Document
The IHN Hoist Guidance Document has now been published and can be downloaded from our website. The document is a comprehensive best practice guide aimed at accommodation providers but also useful for anyone considering installing a hoist. It explains what a hoist is, the different types available , the business case along with some case studies of existing accommodation providers with hoists. It's a must read document for ALL accommodation providers. CHuC had a significant input to this document and we hope it will persuade more accommodation providers to install a hoist...or two...or three!
There is also a similar guidance for Access to Hotels for People with Hearing Loss that can also be downloaded from here.
The alternative to a ceiling hoist?
The HandiMove Wall Lift can be fitted to a bracket on the wall or on a floor to ceiling post and can be moved from room to room with additional brackets or posts. With a lifting capacity of 145kg and a maximum reach of 1.3m this is the alternative to a fixed ceiling track hoist so now you can install a fixed hoist even when the property has a low ceiling. It is available in UK from Dolphin Mobility, Lindale Healthcare and Lynch Healthcare. It is also avalable throught Europe, Israel, South Africa, Australia and USA.
We need your help! Do you know of any other accommodation where ceiling track hoists are available for the guests? If so please