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Lonsdale School

A vision to deliver 'state of the art' facilities for children with physical and neurological impairments (PNI) is now being fulfilled – with help from Closomat.

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ertfordshire County Council commissioned Balfour Beatty to build the new Marriotts & Lonsdale combined school complex, the latter being an allage school with integral residential department for 84 disabled pupils, which delivers 'excellent care, guidance and support [to] enable students to become confident, independent young people'.

Lonsdale SchoolTo ensure Lonsdale pupils' hygiene needs were achieved, wherever they were in the school building, Balfour Beatty turned to Closomat to deliver a single-source, comprehensive toileting/hygiene solution. En-suite bathrooms in the flats, accessible toilets and a hygiene room have all been kitted out with equipment supplied by Closomat, including 15 of its Palma Vita automatic 'wash and dry' toilets, 32 washbasins and 4 shower seats.

The Closomat Palma Vita wash and dry toilet looks like, and can be used as, a conventional WC, but additionally features in-built douching and drying. The features mean the user does not have to wipe clean – or be cleaned by a carer – thus improving independence, hygiene, and dignity.

"An element of the original mission statement was that the project enabled the development of state-of-the-art facilities for PNI students and their families, who come from all over the county to benefit from the learning experience provided at Lonsdale," explained Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Project Manager Steve Rowland. "Closomat toilets were specified from the start due to the existing Lonsdale school having some and having had good experience with them, We identified Closomat as the experts in this kind of thing; the company worked closely with us and supported us throughout to overcome any issues."

Adds Mark Sadler, Closomat sales director, "We ALL go to the toilet on average eight times a day. School building guidelines (BB102) specifically state that toilet fixtures and fittings 'should...help pupils develop personal care skills'. As Lonsdale has found from past experience, the Closomat toilet does make a significant contribution towards that aim, and gives improved hygiene."

The Closomat Palma Vita is the UK's biggest selling 'wash and dry' (automatic) toilet, and the only one of its kind developed specifically for the disabled. Closomat has supplied over 40,000 Closomats, some of which are still in daily use 30 years after first being fitted. The company is the only supplier in the sector that can offer in-house design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and service of its equipment.


Closomat Limited, Building 1, Brooklands Place, Brooklands Road, Sale Cheshire, M33 3SD