Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has unveiled a specially-designed electric car for children at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.
The Rolls-Royce SRH will allow children awaiting surgery to drive themselves to the operating theatre, through the pediatric unit corridors lined with ‘traffic signs’.
It is hoped the experience of ‘self-drive to theatre’ will reduce child patient stress.
Sue Nicholls, paediatric matron at Western Sussex Hospitals NSH Foundation Trust, said: ‘It’s wonderful seeing a smiley face on the way to theatre, rather than an apprehensive one, and everyone caring for children at St Richard’s is so grateful to Rolls-Royce for this unique donation.
‘We know boys and girls alike will love driving it and in the coming years it will help turn a daunting experience into a more fun and enjoyable one for hundreds and hundreds of children.’
For the big reveal, Rolls-Royce welcomed test drivers Molly Matthews and Hari Rajyaguru from the pediatric unit at the company’s Goodwood Studio.
The VIP guests were treated to a full-scale celebration and Molly, Hari and their families returned home in chauffeured Rolls-Royce Ghosts.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said: ‘We are a proud member of the community here in West Sussex.
‘The pediatric unit at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester does such vital work in providing essential care to young people and their families.
‘We hope that the RollsRoyce SRH will serve to make the experience for young people during treatment a little less stressful.’
The car has a top speed of between ten and four mph from a 24v gel battery and has the same finesse afforded to every Rolls-Royce, with a two-tone steering wheel, seats and self-righting wheel centres.
It even includes the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy and the bespoke paddle controls, made with 3D printing technology.
Members of the Bespoke Manufacturing team devoted more than 400 hours of their own time to developing and hand-crafting the model.
Marianne Griffiths, chief executive of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘It is a very special gift and one of the most wonderful donations ever received by Love Your Hospital, our trust’s dedicated charity.
‘On behalf of everyone at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and especially the small team who volunteered so much of their own time in support of St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester and the children we care for.’