A mini electric Rolls-Royce donated to a children’s ward at St Richard’s Hospital has gone in for its first year service, as staff at the hospital reflect on how it has helped their younger patients.
The hand-built Rolls-Royce SRH was presented to the hospital last March to allow children awaiting surgery to drive themselves to the operating theatre, through the Pediatric Unit corridors lined with ‘traffic signs’.
In its first year at the hospital, an average of one child per day has driven to theatre in the car, an experience that has been proven to reduce child patient stress.
Pediatric matron Sue Nicholls said, “We’ve received fantastic feedback from families who’ve expressed how excited their children have been at the prospect of coming onto the Day Surgery unit to drive our mini Rolls-Royce motor car.
“Rather than being anxious about their upcoming procedure, our young patients are positively distracted by the fun experience of negotiating the corridors to theatre in a car they can drive all by themselves.
“We’ve also noticed that Dads especially love to admire the engineering and design specification and often ask for a turn!
“The whole experience of being in hospital for those children, and their loved ones, is enhanced by having the opportunity to drive such a special car.”
Twelve months into its special role at the hospital, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars welcomed the return of its smallest automotive family member to it base at Goodwood for its first year’s service.
The car has performed faultlessly, with no ‘failures to proceed’ and was given a clean bill of health by technicians in the company’s Analysis Centre.
Andrew Ball, head of corporate relations, heritage and philanthropy at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: “We are delighted that the Rolls-Royce SRH has delivered successfully on its promise – making a positive impact on children and their parents during their time in hospital.
“This project showcased the world-class skills and technology that exist in the Bespoke Manufacturing Team and across every area at the home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood.
“Equally, it has clearly demonstrated that our team of highly skilled men and women are passionate about making a valuable contribution to our local community.”