AN AUDIOLOGY support desk, run solely by volunteers at the Great Western Hospital, celebrated two years of service yesterday.

Back in 2011, through their patient meetings, the audiology department received feedback about the length of time patients were waiting to have their hearing aid batteries and wires replaced.

The audiology department acted on the feedback and approached the Volunteers Service at GWH to see if they could assist with distributing hearing aid batteries and replacement parts to patients.

After recruiting nine volunteers the audiology support desk was officially launched and has gone from strength to strength.

Last year they saw 3,733 patients, and in total they have seen nearly 7,000.

Carol Orrow, the voluntary services manager at the Great Western Hospital said: “I am pleased at how successful the service has been since it launched and it is great to be able to celebrate our volunteers who run it.

“We have had fantastic feedback from patients since it began, it means they are being seen quicker, and when they go along to get their replacement batteries the volunteers are there to help and spend time with each patient, providing a friendly face to chat to.”

Volunteer co-ordinator Ruth Palmer, 65, of Chiseldon, said: “It is such a great team to work with and we provide such a fantastic service which our patients think is great.

“The audiology department also say it has made a huge difference to them and freed them up to do other work. We have volunteers of all ages from all walks of life.”

The service is run from the Escort Lounge on the ground floor and is manned by volunteers from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays.