An RAF engineer who defied medical expertise after a spinal injury is still retaining a degree of independence


clos-o-mat-buff-mcbeath-looAn RAF engineer who defied medical expertise after a spinal injury is still retaining a degree of independence and refusing to succumb to his physical limitations, by using British toilet engineering expertise.


William (Buff) McBeath, 70, was told he would never walk again after his injury in the line of duty in the 1970s. He did learn to walk again, but years of wear and tear- particularly to his knees- and the onset of cellulitis mean he is now reliant on a wheelchair.


To accommodate his needs, his home in Livingston has been majorly adapted, with a stairlift, and the bathroom turned into a wetroom, complete with Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita wash & dry toilet. Further deterioration in his condition has meant that he has now had a hoist fitted in his bedroom to enable his carers to get him out of bed, and his wheelchair replaced with a shower chair.


“The Clos-o-Mat does a marvellous job. It means that at least when I go to the toilet, the carers don’t have to clean me. The whole point of having the Clos-o-Mat was because I was having difficulty wiping myself,” he says. 


The Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita looks like, and can be used as, a conventional WC. It has built-in douching/ showering and drying, so the user does not have to rely on care support or toilet tissue to clean themselves: just stay sitting, trigger the flush and the toilet cleans you.


Unlike any other toilet of its kind, the Palma Vita can be fitted at any stage with accessories to enable the user to continue to benefit despite changes in their needs. Over 120,00 permutations exist, with addition of a plinth to adjust the height being one of the most common adaptations. Plinths are available in 25mm, 50mm, 75mm and 100mm, enabling the toilet height to be set at the optimum for each user.


Clos-o-Mat is the UK’s leading supplier of toileting technology for disabled and elderly people. In addition to the brand-leading Palma Vita wash & dry toilet, it manufactures and supplies its height adjustable counterpart the Lima Lift, plus provides a selection of personal care ancillaries- toilet lifters, height adjustable washbasins, hoists, changing benches and body driers.


Founded 55 years ago, and still family-owned, the company is unique in its provision, in-house, of design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and after-sales service & maintenance. Details of the Clos-o-Mat’s assistive toilet care offerings, plus further case studies from real-life users, can be found on Clos-o-Mat’s website


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