Whipps Cross Hospital Radio (WCHR) is one of the most popular stations of its kind in the UK, according to new listening figures.

Operating from a basement under the concrete grounds of the Leytonstone Hospital, the station is staffed entirely by volunteers.

According to figures released this week by Hospedia, the company which provides bedside consoles for patients, WCHR is the second most listened to hospital station in the UK with 72 per cent of inpatients regularly tuning in.

Bishop Auckland Hospital in County Durham is top of the list, with 74 per cent of patients listening between January and March of this year.

The figures also show WCHR attracted an average weekly audience of 5,648 listener hours, representing the 4th highest in the UK.

WCRH station chairman Mike Jones said: "To achieve those numbers when the stations showing higher figures have far more bedside units must mean that, unit for unit, we are probably the most listened to station in any hospital."

Founded in 1969 from a leaking garden shed in the hospital grounds, up to 50 volunteers now work at the station, providing 24-hour programming using two professional recording studios furnished with former BBC equipment.

The Guardian features on the hospital radio every Wednesday evening in a round-up of Waltham Forest news.