Young patients in the fast lane to theatre | News

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Young patients in the fast lane to theatre

Children will be travelling to the operating theatre in style by getting behind the wheel of a miniature Tesla.

The top of the range toy, which features a built in sound system and space for a teddy, was generously donated to Royal Surrey County Hospital’s paediatric ward.

It is hoped that the new mode of transport will ensure youngsters arrive in theatre happy and relaxed.

The vehicle was generously donated by the family of a staff member, who has asked to remain anonymous.

Senal Soyer, Matron of Hascombe Ward, Royal Surrey’s paediatric ward, said: “Coming into a hospital can be a daunting experience for anyone, but this is especially true for our very youngest patients.

“We are always looking for ways to improve their experience and the opportunity to drive the Tesla should provide a welcome distraction.

“It is certainly more exciting than walking themselves to theatre or going on a bed.

“We are incredibly grateful for this generous donation and I am sure the impact of it will be felt by many patients for years to come.”

Children also go home afterwards with their own driver’s licence.

The red coloured Tesla is worth more than £600 and also features working headlights.

It will be driven by children aged three to eight years and is capable of doing speeds of between three and six miles per hour.

Three year old Leighton Smith, from Cranleigh, was the first lucky patient to get behind the wheel just before an operation on his tonsils.

leighton smith

Leighton driving himself to his operation

Mum Nita said: “It really cheered up Leighton. It’s a great thing to do for the children. When they go down to the theatre in a bed they’re very aware of what’s happening but this will really take their mind off things.”

Royal Surrey play specialist Natasha Wellman said: “Leighton had a wonderful time driving the car around. The Tesla is a fantastic addition to the hospital.”

The Trust is sharing the story as part of a week-long celebration to launch a change in its name.

The Trust started providing adult community health services for Guildford and Waverley in April 2018 and has decided to change its name, from Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, to just Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust says it felt it was important to recognise the contribution of community staff and reflect that it is now providing more than acute hospital care and bridging the gap between wards and the community health services.

Chief Nurse, Jo Mountjoy, said: “This story perfectly highlights the caring and compassionate staff we have here at Royal Surrey.

“We are incredibly grateful to the family of a staff member for this generous donation that I am sure will be raising the spirits and put a smile on the faces of our youngest patients who get behind the wheel.”

Royal Surrey Charity