Mini Mercedes gives young patients in Sandwell a lift

media captionChildren in mini Mercedes before surgery in Sandwell

Children are being given a lift in a remote-control car to calm their nerves before minor operations.

A mini Mercedes is being used to take young patients to theatre at Sandwell Hospital in West Bromwich.

Three-year-old Gavy Saini was the first patient to give it a test drive and told his mother Sundeep it was "cool".

Mrs Saini said the toy car put her son at ease before his tooth extraction surgery and said it was a wonderful idea.

image copyrightPA
image captionSundeep Saini, 28, said the toy car helped her son to relax before his operation

The hospital trust's fundraising manager Amanda Winwood had the idea after seeing similar cars being used at a hospital in California.

"Having an operation can be daunting especially if you are a child," she said. "I thought this would help to distract them as they headed into surgery."

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The children are strapped in to the battery-powered cars which are controlled by nurses and play specialists and driven through the hospital for their procedures.

The hospital has two of the cars, which cost £150 each and were donated by Halfords in Oldbury. Ms Winwood said the reaction to them has been "amazing".

The cars started being used for young patients on Friday.

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