THE corridors of a Gwent hospital were filled with the sound of music as musicians entertained waiting patients.

Outpatients at the Royal Gwent Hospital enjoyed performances throughout Wednesday morning from a world class harpist and viola player as part of a new Gwent Arts in Health (GARTH) project.

The project hopes to improve the experience of staff and patients in waiting rooms throughout the hospital.

And Wednesday's first appearances in the opthalmology, ENT and main outpatients departments proved a big hit with patients.

Harold Kearns, 78, from Bettws, Newport, said: "It was very nice and it definitely helped relax everybody. I think it is a really dood idea."

Bernice Thorne, 79, from Pontypool, added: "When I cam in I wondered where the music was coming from. I just think it is wonderful."

"You normally just sit here and don't no what to do with yourself while you wait for your name to be called."

Sarah Goody, from GARTH, said: "Instead of just putting pictures on the walls we thought we would bring music into the hospital.

"Music has been proved to alleviate stress and have a calming effect so its a really worthwhile project.

The musicians, Phillip Heyman and Katherine Thomas both play for the Welsh National Opera orchestra.

They are now set to return to the Royal Gwent on a monthly basis.

GARTH is a charity that aims to promote and develop an arts and health programme for the patients and staff.