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The Walton Centre celebrates 10 years of specialist MRI clinic for patients with claustrophobia

2 months ago

The Walton Centre celebrates 10 years of specialist MRI clinic for patients with claustrophobia

The radiology department at The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating an incredible ten years of providing a specialist MRI clinic for patients with claustrophobia.

The four-strong team have scanned over 830 patients over the decade, providing crucial information for their diagnosis and care. Created in 2014, the clinic was first supported by the Roy Ferguson fund, set up by The Walton Centre Charity. Originally held on weekends, the clinic proved an important part of the MRI service, scanning patients who previously couldn’t enter a scanning room because of their phobia of enclosed spaces. 

Now held during the week, the clinic offers a slower process and additional support for patients. The team ensure a calm and friendly environment, which encourages patients to discuss the triggers for their MR claustrophobia and anxiety. The radiographers suggest strategies and put mechanisms in place to help patients feel comfortable whilst in the scanner, enabling them to complete their scans. The clinic has become so successful that neighbouring hospitals now refer claustrophobic patients for scans.

NHS Walton Centre

Lead Radiographer Lisa Weights said:

“The clinic provides a unique service, empowering patients to complete their scans and ensuring neurosurgeons and neurologists have the diagnostic information to determine the best course of action for their patients. I’m so proud of what we achieve as a team, it makes an incredible difference to our patients.” 

Deputy Medical Director and Consultant Neuroradiolologist, Dr Sacha Niven said:

“Like with many new ideas, you worry that it won’t be well received by patients. However, with the claustrophobia clinic – that wasn’t the case! It’s made an incredible difference to patients and their experience here at The Walton Centre. Even in their initial consultations in outpatients, when they hear there is a specialised clinic designed to put them at ease, they relax almost immediately. It’s a great example of our staff going the extra mile to support our patients any way they can.”

Positive patient feedback has been widely received about the clinic, describing a high level of sympathy and helpfulness. One patient said: “I had to go to MRI last April, but I couldn’t do it. I was referred to the Claustrophobic Clinic. I would like to thank the staff as they did an amazing job.” Another patient said: “Can’t thank you enough, I really didn’t think I would have completed my scan without your assistance”.

Visit The Walton Centre website here.

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