Youngsters at Scarborough Hospital can drive themselves for their own surgery - in a ride-on mini-Tesla!

Paul Whelan, Eleanor Basnett, Staff Nurse; Ilhan (10 years), patient; Tracey Cleminson, Play Specialist
Paul Whelan, Eleanor Basnett, Staff Nurse; Ilhan (10 years), patient; Tracey Cleminson, Play Specialist

Children at Scarborough Hospital can now drive themselves for their own surgery and scans in a ride-on electric car, following a generous donation from the Tesla owners group UK.

The mini Tesla has been presented to the children’s ward, where it is already helping distract children who are nervous about going for an operation or scan by offering a fun way to travel.

Tracey Cleminson, Play Specialist, Duke of York Ward, said: “Having to come into hospital can be a daunting time for anyone, especially for children, so equipment like this can really make a child’s stay more enjoyable.

“It’s fantastic to see children drive themselves to theatres, for a MRI or for a scan.

“It really draws attention and everyone stops to cheer and wave the children on - as well as encouraging them to sound the horn.

“Even better is that afterwards they have something to look forward to by driving back to the ward.”

The car donation comes thanks to the Tesla owners group UK, who actively raise money to buy the mini version for hospitals.

Scarborough Hospital was able to secure a car thanks to Paul Whelan, who is originally from Scarborough and part of the Tesla owner group. He has a strong connection to Scarborough Hospital where his sister, Nicola, has worked for several years.

Paul said: “When Nicola mentioned that Scarborough Hospital would love one of the cars we were delighted to step in and help - especially as I was born and raised in Scarborough.

“It’s fantastic being able to make life in hospital more enjoyable, and when you see the children having so much fun and laughing it makes it all worthwhile.”

The car, worth more than £600, has a top speed of 6mph.

The donation follows a bid by the Trust, in partnership with York Teaching Hospital Charity, to provide cars for the children’s wards at both York and Scarborough hospitals.