A mini Tesla had its first test drive in Poole Hospital’s children’s unit yesterday after a younger patient took it for a spin. The electric children’s ride-on is a way for younger patients to travel from a ward to an operation.
The car is a smaller version of the Tesla Model S. It is designed for children aged three to eight years old and recreates the feel of a real Tesla with a rechargeable lithium ion battery, headlights, MP3 sound system and a horn.
It was donated by the UK branch of the Tesla Owners’ Group after Poole Hospital Charity requested one for the unit. It was delivered to the hospital by Tony Wootton, one of the group’s members, and his children, Faye and Joseph, on 4 February 2019.
The first patient to get behind the wheel was five year old, Sophia Coleman, who was admitted to the children’s ward with a respiratory complaint.
Sally Smith, a staff nurse on the children’s day ward, was very positive about its benefits. “The car is going to be a really great way of decreasing any anxiety younger patients may have on their way to an operation,” she said.
“It makes the journey exciting for the children and takes their mind off the fact that they’re in hospital.”
The vehicle is one of a range of ways that the children’s unit is made less daunting for children, such as a playroom with books and toys and bright and colourful wall artwork.