Speaker: Dr Ros Stanwell-Smith, Honorary Senior Lecturer, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Editor, Perspectives in Public Health

Chaired by: Dr Cathy Whapham, Global Portfolio Manager, Pall Medical

Water and sanitation improvement worldwide has been given increased priority by the WHO, with progress on several targets – but what of the humble public toilet?  In the UK these public facilities have been closing at a rapid rate, often sold off for other purposes.

Provision is usually insufficient in commercial, recreation, transport and tourist areas. Established with civic pride at the turn of the 20th century in the UK, specific legislation was never put in place to require either installation or maintenance and is still often an afterthought or low priority in planning. To understand why it is now so hard to ‘spend a penny’ [a reference to the old penny locks] we need to look at the history of these facilities and why their role in civilised society, outdoor exercise and hygiene has been overlooked.

This webinar will also examine current trends and ideas for their use in health promotion, as well as equality of access aspects and not least, the contentious area of funding. Examples of UK and international initiatives on these essential ‘conveniences’ will be included to find answers to a very popular question:  “Where have all the public toilets gone?”


The webinar series is supported by an educational grant from 




This webinar is also sponsored by:


Don’t forget, this webinar is part of a series of webinars from the RSPH. A series of four water webinars from 2017 can be accessed from our RSPH members’ area.