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Travelling in style at Oxford Children's Hospital

This article is more than four years old.

Oxford University Hospitals' newest transport service has arrived, as children staying at Oxford Children's Hospital can now travel in style in a brand new mini Tesla car.

The top-of-the-range toy, based on the Model S, was generously donated by Tesla Owners Group UK car club.

Fitted with built-in sound system and space for a teddy passenger, staff hope that the unconventional journey to surgery will help the young patients arrive at the anaesthetic room for their operations happier and better prepared to cope.

Florian Stoermer, Divisional Head of Nursing and Clinical Governance who led on the project, said: "We are so grateful to Tesla Owners Group UK for donating such a wonderful addition to our hospital.

"The support and kindness from the car club and all the staff who helped to make this happen has been overwhelming. This was only superceded by the smiles on the children's faces that were able to ride in the car.

"I am very thankful for the generosity that has enabled this to happen, and the opportunity this gives us to improve the experience of children and the patients in hospital to reduce their stress and bring some moments of joy to them.

"We can't wait to see the children drive themselves around the wards, as well as to appointments."

The car, worth more than £600, features working headlights, turbine rims, and an authentic white Tesla paint finish. It is powered by flight speed lithium-ion technology, charges in three hours, and can be set to three or six mph - perfect for children up to eight years old.

The mini T will be used for patients on the Craniofacial Unit. So impressed by the team's welcome, Tesla Owners Group UK will soon be donating another car to the hospital.

Kari Ashton, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner on the Craniofacial Unit, said: "The prospect of going to theatre for an operation can be scary and difficult for children, but we are confident that being able to drive the mini T will act as a great distraction, and make them feel much calmer.

"Equipment like this can really make a child's stay more enjoyable - the car is certainly a much more fun mode of transport than walking or going on the usual hospital beds."

Tesla Owners Group UK raised the funds to purchase 150 mini Tesla cars for donation across the UK to benefit children who are in need of extra care and opportunities for play. Elon Musk, Tesla co-founder, also donated some money to the cause.

Deryn Harvey, Tesla Owners UK Group Coordinator, said: "Tesla Owners Group UK are delighted that Oxford Children's Hospital has accepted a donation of a mini Tesla electric vehicle.

The car is sure to bring joy and alleviate anxiety in young children in hospital. They really can drive themselves to theatre.

"This mini Tesla is one of 150 we have placed across the country thanks to our members'donations.

"Oxford Children's Hospital is especially deserving as it was nominated by several of our local members in gratitude for the great service provided to their children over many years."

Pictured from left: Zoe Pooley (Specialist Matron), Karen Steinhardt (Clinical Director of Children's Services), Sharon Buchanan (Matron), Pete Smoothy (Tesla Owners Group UK member), Ann Smoothy (Tesla Owners Group UK member), Sasha Bowen (Assistant Practitioner, standing), Florian Stoermer (Divisional Head of Nursing), and Kari Ashton (Craniofacial Advanced Nurse Practitioner).