Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has unveiled a seminal new concept in luxury cars, crafted for one very special customer, St Richard’s Hospital Pediatric Day Surgery Unit in the marque’s home town of Chichester, West Sussex.
The appropriately-named Rolls-Royce SRH will allow children awaiting surgery to drive themselves to the operating theatre, through the Pediatric Unit corridors which are lined with ‘traffic signs’. The experience of ‘self-drive to theatre’ aims to reduce child patient stress.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars welcomed two test drivers from the Pediatric Unit at St Richard’s Hospital, Molly Matthews and Hari Rajyaguru, to the Home of Rolls-Royce. Molly and Hari viewed the car being unveiled in style at the company’s Goodwood Studio in the same manner for all Rolls-Royce’s VIP customers. This exclusive event served as final validation and pre-delivery inspection of the Rolls-Royce SRH ahead of the official handover to the patients, their families and the devoted day surgery team at St Richard’s Hospital.
In true Rolls-Royce style, the two children and their families enjoyed VIP hospitality with one notable addition to the usual customer experience. Molly and Hari both enjoyed first drives on the Rolls-Royce production line, an exceptionally rare privilege usually reserved for the marque’s Chief Executive during the validation process for new model families, and most recently actioned for the forthcoming Phantom 8. Molly, Hari and their families returned home in the chauffeured luxury of Rolls-Royce Ghosts.
“We are a proud member of the community here in West Sussex. The Pediatric Unit at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester does such vital work in providing essential care to young people and their families,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “We hope that the Rolls‑Royce SRH will serve to make the experience for young people during treatment a little less stressful.”
Created from the ground-up by the dedicated Bespoke Manufacturing team, the Rolls-Royce SRH presents to its very important customer a landmark study in Bespoke luxury. Akin to the conception of every Rolls-Royce Bespoke commission, a restless desire to understand the customer’s requirements informed every aspect of the design. The car is therefore specified with a two-tone paint-scheme of Andalusian White and Salamanca Blue and finished with a hand-applied St James Red coachline.
The interior space is appointed with the same finesse and attention-to-detail afforded to every Rolls-Royce patron, with the two-tone steering wheel, seats and self-righting wheel centres perfectly colour-matched to the St James Red coachline. A top speed of 10mph is achieved in seconds courtesy of power derived from a 24 volt gel battery that propels the car with the same whisper-quietness as Rolls-Royce’s magnificent V12 engines. For those preferring a more sedate journey, the speed setting is variable and can be limited to a statelier but no-less exhilarating 4mph.
Sir Henry Royce’s famous credo: “when it does not exist, design it,” echoes around the marque’s home in Goodwood, with this spirit highly evident in the conception of the Rolls‑Royce SRH. The Bespoke Manufacturing team devoted over 400 hours of their own time to developing and hand-crafting this most extraordinary Rolls-Royce.
In addition to developing competency in new chassis and electronic technologies, the project team also utilised 3D printing techniques for the design. This included production of the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy and the bespoke paddle controls.
Lawrie Mewse, Project Leader of the Rolls-Royce SRH, said, “I am immensely proud of what the team has achieved. This project showcases the amazing skills and technology that exist in the Bespoke Manufacturing Team and across every area at the Home of Rolls Royce here at Goodwood. However, the most important thing is giving back to the local community and having a positive impact for children and their parents during their time in hospital.”
Marianne Griffiths, Chief Executive, of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said, “Just like the joy it will bring to our young patients, the Rolls-Royce SRH is simply priceless. It is a very special gift and one of the most wonderful donations ever received by Love Your Hospital, our trust’s dedicated charity. On behalf of everyone at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and especially the small team who volunteered so much of their own time in support of St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester and the children we care for.”
Sue Nicholls, Paediatric Matron at Western Sussex Hospitals NSH Foundation Trust, said, “It’s wonderful seeing a smiley face on the way to theatre, rather than an apprehensive one, and everyone caring for children at St Richard’s is so grateful to Rolls-Royce for this unique donation. We know boys and girls alike will love driving it and in the coming years it will help turn a daunting experience into a more fun and enjoyable one for hundreds and hundreds of children.”
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