THE Mayor of Warrington Clr Steve Wright has been thanking staff at Warrington Hospital’s audiology department for giving him the ‘best hearing has ever had’.

The 52-year-old said his life has been transformed and it has also been good news for his wife Julie, who also works at the hospital, and says the TV volume can now be turned down.

Clr Wright said: “I’m sure our neighbours must have been able to hear the TV down the street but fortunately they didn’t complain!

“I always had problems from a young age and then in college I realised I couldn’t look down and make notes because I had to lip read the person speaking.

“In 1995 I knew I had to do something about it as I couldn’t hear someone on the telephone at all and it turned out they were shouting down the phone.”

He got a new hearing aid in the last 18 months after his previous one smashed and says he hopes others do not miss out on new technology in the last 10 to 15 years.

Clr Wright, who has no ear drum on one side, added: “My hearing will get progressively worse but at least the technology will always be getting better. “There was a part of me at first that didn’t like wearing it but now I’m quite proud of it.

“As Mayor I was a bit worried about meeting lots of different people as I used to have to hang off their shoulders to have a conversation but now it’s great and I wanted to come and say thank you for what the team have done.”

PATIENTS being seen by the audiology department are getting younger, according to the service manager.

Paula Atherton said residents playing music too loudly through headphones is causing them to see a variety of ages visiting the ward with problems.

She said: “We’re seeing a huge problem now in the younger generation who have permanent hearing loss after listening to music too loudly and for around eight hours a day.

“Hearing aids are smaller and the quality of sound is superb compared to the past and people don’t have to make do.

“It’s lovely for the Mayor to recognise our work as we’re not a very high profile service.”

AN audiology and ENT open afternoon will be held for GPs only on Thursday, April 18 from 1.30 pm at the Postgraduate Centre, Warrington Hospital including a tour and information on the services provided.

For more details e-mail or call 662420.