Rolls-Royce develops toy car to drive ill children to surgery


Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has developed a bespoke child-sized version of the luxury model to enable children facing surgery to drive themselves to the operating theatre.

The Rolls-Royce SRH takes its initials from its recipient - St Richard's Hospital paediatric day surgery unit in the exclusive car manufacturer's home city of Chichester, West Sussex.

Children facing surgery will be able to drive the SRH themselves to the operating theatre, through the paediatric corridors which are lined with mock traffic signs.

With a top speed of 10mph, the SRH is powered by a 24-volt gel battery that propels the car with the same gentle quietness as Rolls-Royce's famed V12 engines.

The bespoke manufacturing team spent more than 400 hours of their own time developing and hand-crafting the car, with the aim of soothing children's nerves before surgery.

Sue Nicholls, paediatric matron at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "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."

Two children from the paediatric unit, Molly Matthews, eight, and Hari Rajyaguru, seven, test drove the SRH around the company's production line before being chauffeur-driven home in Rolls-Royce Ghosts.

Torsten Muller-Otvos, the chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: "We hope that the Rolls-Royce SRH will serve to make the experience for young people during treatment a little less stressful."

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."