Telephone box medical centres

The famous Gilbert Scott designed K6 or Jubilee kiosk was launched in 1936 to celebrate King George V's silver jubilee. By the 1960's almost 70000 Kiosks could be found across the countryside, and whilst the public payphone service has undergone enormous changes since then, the traditional red kiosk had already forged itself as an iconic symbol of British life.

People use the public payphone service less and less these days. In order to maintain a social service where it is needed most, it has, in recent years, been necessary to reduce the overall number of public payphones on our high streets. Understanding that the red telephone box plays a significant part in our national heritage and in many cases forms a focal point for communities across the country BT is able to offer communities the opportunity to keep these kiosks. BT and Community Heartbeat Trust charity (CHT), work together to help communities turn their adopted telephone boxes into medical centres, by using them as homes for Public Access Defibrillators, storing the defibrillation in a well recognised, safe, weather protected location.

Adoption and installation

Adoption of the telephone box is £1 from BT, and a parish, or CHT, can undertake this for you. For projects undertaken with CHT, BT will provide free electricity for the first 7 years of the project. There is no automatic right to use the unmetered supply in a kiosk, only the 8 watts in the adoption agreement for the internal light. A free renovation kit, comprising of the correct red and gold paint is also available to CHT supplied projects by way of our sponsor British Coatings Federation.

"BT recommend Community Heartbeat Trust to supply defibrillators (in adopted kiosks) due to their compliance to BS7671 electrical safety standards; cabinets compliant to BS7671-416.417; and in its construction by ISO 9001/2 certified manufacturers. CHT also provide a governance system to demonstrate the management of the defibrillator. BT works closely with CHT and they are our preferred route for defibrillator installations, and have a written consent form from us to connect a defibrillator to the unmetered electrical supply."

"If you go via another route for the defibrillator then you would need to seek consent from us to be able to connect the power supply and the defibrillator cabinet must be class 2 and compliant to BS7671-416/417 in its construction and manufactured by a ISO 9001/2 certified manufacturer." - BT Payphones March 2016


Telephone Kiosks are not earthed. So to place a heated cabinet into a kiosk, this will require access to the electricity. Either permission has to be sought from BT to access the unmetered supply, which will happen with all CHT projects as part of the CHT agreement with BT, or a separate power supply needs to be arranged via one of the electrical distribution companies. This may take up to £1800 to effect. The defibrillator cabinet must also be a "class II electrical device" or if not, suitable earthing to comply with the relevant BSi regulations will have to be installed. This may mean an earthing spike, which on a road will require a survey from highways to ensure no gas, sewage, or other electrical cable is damaged in the process. There is normally a cost for this survey, but please consult your local highways officer first.

Community engagement

These types of project are great for bringing disparate parts of the community together. In village of Denby, Yorkshire, the community worked with CHT to establish a defibrillator in the kiosk. To help raise funds, the village sponsored each of the glass panes, and used this to help funds. As a result, not only did this raise funds, with sponsors having there names engraved on the panes, but the kiosk is now a central part of the village again. Even the floor was tiled.


The ERC, UK Department of Health, MHRA, and your local ambulance service, and quite often funding bodies, will insist on some form of governance programme being in place. CQC now monitors ambulance service in regard to there public access defibrillators. Talk to CHT about placing your solution on our WebNos® Governance system. Web based maps are not governance.

Listed buildings

Note that many kiosks are listed and so must be externally retained to be the same visual appearance. Under agreement from English Heritage, internally the equipment can have a change of use. The "telephone" signs cannot remain unless there are other clear instructions that the kiosk contains a defibrillator. Please consult your local listings officer for any local requirements.

Ready to adopt

If you wish to convert your telephone box into a defibrillator location, please contact us for an information pack. More information can be found on the BT website below. In particular please refer to the FAQ section on the BT website.

More information can be found on the BT website at : HERE

Download telephone box case histories: HERE

Download adoption information: HERE

Download the Adopt a Kiosk Brochure HERE







Please make sure you have read and understood this disclaimer - It will be assumed that you have read prior to CHT receiving any request. CHT are not responsible for your fund raising, nor your cPAD operations, but may assist in both. CHTs only aim is to support the installation of a cPAD scheme in the most cost effective way possible and help save lives in your community. This website, and any downloaded information, is for information only on how to go about obtaining and installing a cPAD, and other relevant information. All copyrights and trademarks are recognised. All support for the cPAD will be undertaken by the village committee responsible and via standard manufacturers warranties. Your training organisation will only be responsible for the initial awareness training and not for the functioning or maintenance of the AED. Please do not send any monies to CHT until you have registered your scheme with us, and have agreement from the local ambulance service for the establishment of a cPAD scheme. All schemes must be registered with the local ambulance service (CHT will also undertake this or you can do via this site, but this does not remove responsibility for you to notify the local ambulance service of your AED location). 999/112 (ambulance) must always be called prior to using a cPAD equipment. VAT may be applicable if your organisation is not an eligible body as defined by HMRC. All current or historical claims for VAT will be met by the local community. All schemes will be asked to sign an agreement taking responsibility for their own fund raising and donations to CHT, and then the operation and maintenance of the cPAD equipment. All CHT provided schemes will need to manage their maintenance through the WebNoS online system as a condition of CHT support. It is your responsibility to maintain the equipment in working order and to make sure the local ambulance service is aware of this. WebNoS makes this possible and also acts as an audit trail for management of the equipment. Sites provided by CHT and not using WebNoS may be disengaged from the ambulance service CAD systems. Defibtracker (formerly Defibfinder) is a service provided by Safeheart Ltd and all data and information contained therein is the responsibility of Safeheart and is provided for general information only, and should not be used in preference to dialling 999. CHT works in close cooperation with the UK ambulance services. Always dial 999 in an emergency.