Are they taking the p***?

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By The Gut Health Doctor Team

Dr Megan Rossi in a lab looking through a microscope

Have you noticed the BIG decrease in public toilets?

I know that I’ve nearly been caught short a few times, when out and about!

Now, a paper published in leading health journal, The Lancet, shows the hard data of the situation.

Between 2015–16 and 2020–21, local authorities who responded to freedom of information requests reported a 19% drop in the number of public toilets.

This plummet in resource was said to be the result of cuts to council budgets, as well as a lack of legal requirements for councils to make public toilets available.

This has BIG implications. The Royal Society for Public Health reported in 2018 that around 20% of people did not go out as often as they’d like, purely because of worries around getting to the loo.

This rose to 43% of people who have a condition that might mean needing the toilet more frequently, such as IBS and IBD.

Now, this clearly needs URGENT change. In the meantime, if you have a medical condition that means you often need the toilet urgently, you can:

  1. Order a ‘Just Can’t Wait’ badge that you can show to staff in shops, pubs and restaurants. This can help you to gain access to loos.
  2. Download the ‘Loocations’ app, which shows open loos around the UK. There are a few other apps doing similar services – have a hunt and see which works best for you.


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