YOUNG patients at Oxford Children’s Hospital will now be able to travel to surgery in style behind the wheel of a mini Tesla.

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

ALSO READ: Hospital chief signs up to 500-mile ride

Fitted with built-in sound system and space for a teddy passenger, staff hope that the unconventional journey to theatre will help children arrive at the anaesthetic room for their operations happier and more relaxed.

Kari Ashton, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner on the Craniofacial Unit, where the car will be based, 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.”

Oxford Mail:

She added: “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.”

The electric 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.

Do you have an unsung hospital hero to thank?

The new mini T will be used for patients on the Craniofacial Unit but the car club will soon be donating another mini Tesla to the hospital to help even more children.

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“This was only superseded by the smiles on the children’s faces that were able to ride in the car.”

Oxford Mail:

He added: “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.”

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.

ALSO READ: Prince Harry plays 'dinosaurs' with children at Oxford Children's Hospital

Elon Musk, Tesla co-founder, also donated some money to the cause.

Deryn Harvey, Tesla Owners UK Group Coordinator, said the car was one of 150 placed across the country thanks to members’ donations and the club was ‘delighted’ with the response in Oxford.

She added: “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.”