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Havering residents could save lives by converting disused phone boxes

PUBLISHED: 11:02 11 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:02 11 August 2016

Phone boxes converted into defibrillators

Phone boxes converted into defibrillators

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Residents are being encouraged to convert iconic red phone boxes into life-saving hotspots by installing heart attack equipment around the borough.

A new report concludes that installing defibrillators in disused phone boxes could help save residents suffering from a cardiac arrest.

The study, entitled Never Miss a Beat, calls for Havering residents to take advantage of the ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme.

Under the scheme, community groups can buy their local phone box for £1, and the report urges Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to provide £500 towards the £1,000 cost of a defibrillator.

The report says 24-hour access to the electronic devices whilst an ambulance is on the way can double the chance of survival for heart attack victims – from 27 per cent to 58pc.

There were 163 such attacks in Havering during 2014/15, and Keith Prince, the London Assembly Member for Havering, says he is backing the scheme.

He said: “There is no question we should be making these life-saving devices as widely available as possible and where better to put them than highly-visible and easily-accessible phone boxes?

“The Adopt a Kiosk scheme is a fantastic way of getting more defibrillators into our communities.

“Better access to the right equipment and better education among the general public could ensure victims get life-saving support until the paramedics can arrive.

“This simple idea has the potential to save lives in Havering and across the capital and I will be urging the Mayor to adopt the recommendations in the report.”

The devices would be stored in tamper-proof boxes and unlocked with a PIN code given over the phone by a 999 operator to prevent misuse.

They would only deliver a shock if they cannot detect a heart rate in the patient.

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