Edinburgh man with MS slams medical centre as they 'deny him access to toilet'

Dean said an Edinburgh medical practice wouldn't let him in to use the toilet
-Credit: (Image: Supplied)


An Edinburgh man who is living with multiple sclerosis (MS) has slammed a city medical practice, who he claims wouldn't allow him in to use the toilet.

Dean Reilly, 43, was out in the city on Monday when he urgently needed to use the loo - something common within those who have been diagnosed with MS. Knowing the St Leonards Medical Centre was nearby, he tried to buzz in and claims he was told the toilets were for patients only.

Having been diagnosed with MS in 2012, Dean told Edinburgh Live he's often been met with kindness and accommodated across the world when he explains his condition. He said he was "disappointed" that a medical facility didn't have the same response, and "expected better".

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Dean tried to buzz into the practise at around 12.45pm, and said he "genuinely couldn't believe" the response. He told us: "I was in the Southside, and I saw signs at the practise saying toilets were for customers only.

"I pressed the buzzer anyway and was told they were on lunch. I explained the situation, and told them I have MS and it was a matter of urgency.

"I wonder if I were a JustEat driver they would've buzzed me in no bother, if I had their lunch. They had a guy with MS that was desperate and just left me.

"What would have happened if I had to relieve myself right there at their door?"

Dean was named one of Lorraine Kelly's Heroes back in 2016
Dean was named one of Lorraine Kelly's Heroes back in 2016 -Credit:Supplied

The MS Trust, who support those dealing with the condition across the country, say: "Bladder issues are common symptoms in multiple sclerosis.

"Problems can include needing the toilet urgently and frequently, and having difficulty emptying your bladder."

Dean said he had to rush out of the car park to try find a toilet elsewhere. He continued: "The thing about MS is, it is different for every person. One of the most common things is the urgency when you need to use the toilet.

"You need to go when you need to go. I've been all over the world using my MS card, and people are so accommodating and understanding.

"I'd kind of hoped that a medical practise would be the same. But I had to run back to my friends car and get out of the car park, then the barriers wouldn't even let us out."

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Dean and his friend had to go back to the practise, and ask for the code to get the barriers down and get out of the car park. By this point, he was desperate to find a toilet.

He told us: "We ended up going to a pub round the corner, I didn't even have time to ask I just had to run through.

"I ended up buying us two cans of juice, which cost me £6, just because I felt guilty."

Having been diagnosed with MS back in 2012, Dean said he's had plenty of experiences where businesses have accommodated his needs. While he sometimes needs to show his MS card, which explains his condition, he's often helped by staff.

Dean said he is often met with kindness when he shows his MS card
Dean said he is often met with kindness when he shows his MS card -Credit:Supplied

He continued: "If I'm being honest it's never normally a huge issue.

"Once we stopped at a Co-op and they didn't have customer toilets. I showed them my card, and they took me to the staff toilets and apologised for the state of them and were so nice.

"I have been into places like B&B's where they've said they don't have toilets and I'm like, you're a B&B? You're telling me there's not one toilet in here that I can use?

"There has been a few times this has happened in Edinburgh, and I get it - there might be some 'undesirables' that they don't want using their bathrooms. However, when someone approaches very clearly asking for accessible toilets, it's not on."

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Dean hoped the practise would respond to him, after he posted about the incident on social media. He says he's not heard anything back, and feels "disappointed".

He told us: "A large part of the issue is that it is an invisible condition.

"Though in this day and age, I genuinely couldn't believe it. I was really annoyed, it could've ruined my entire day.

"If I had an accident, which has happened, it's so difficult and can be embarrassing. I'm not an aggressive person, and I approach things with kindness but I just really was in shock."

St Leonard’s Medical Centre declined to comment when Edinburgh Live approached them.