A hospital will become a less daunting place for young patients thanks to the addition of four wheels.
Thanks to the generous donation of a mini Tesla electric car to Dorset County Hospital, children can now drive themselves from Kingfisher Ward to the operating theatre before surgery.
The exciting new distraction will help younger patients who may be stressed.
First behind the new wheels was eight-year-old Juno, who took it for a test drive around Kingfisher – and loved every second of it.
Juno’s mum, Shelley Wilson, said: “Juno loved driving in the mini Tesla, it was a real high point in her stay .
“It was an exciting distraction from feeling poorly and really lifted her mood. Afterwards Juno said she can’t wait to get a car and learn how to drive.”
Dr Jon Chambers, consultant anaesthetist at DCH, approached the Tesla Owners Club with the idea, having seen it work well in other hospitals.
He was delighted when R Symonds Ltd, based in Bournemouth, offered to help.
Dr Chambers said: “Going to an operating theatre is an anxious time for everyone, adult or child.
“With children, reducing the stress associated with having an operation is particularly important.
“To be able to turn what is a scary journey from the ward to the operating theatre into something fun can have a really positive effect on the children, both then and for the future.
“Our main challenge will be getting them out of the car when they reach their destination.”
The new red shiny car is a scale version of the Tesla Model S and is designed for children aged from three to eight. It recreates the feel of a real Tesla with a rechargeable battery, headlights and a horn.
It even has an MP3 sound system so children can listen to their favourite song as they drive themselves into theatre.
Richard Symons, from R Symons Ltd, added: “It was our absolute pleasure to provide this donation to Dorset County Hospital.
“Tesla owners all over the UK have contributed thousands of pounds from their own pocket to fund dozens of these cars.
“Owners have then stored them and distributed throughout the UK, all totally independent of Tesla themselves. It’s an amazing cause and we are very proud to be a part of it.”