COVID-19 restrictions to remain in place at The Walton Centre

Restrictions remain in place across the NHS in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety measures in place over the 18 months therefore remain in place at The Walton Centre - and in our other clinic settings within the community – until further notice.

Due to the increased transmission risk posed by the Omicron variant, visiting has been suspended within The Walton Centre except for exceptional circumstances.

New spinal clinic in North Wales brings care closer to home

Date: 12 July 2021

NWspinal clinic

The Walton Centre has extended satellite spinal clinics in North Wales for the first time. The specialist neurosciences trust, based in Liverpool, is working alongside the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt NHS Foundation Trust to bring care for spinal patients closer to home.

There are new clinics in several hospitals governed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which are being provided by the two specialist trusts.

The Walton Centre’s Consultant Spinal Surgeon Mr Narendra Kumar Rath (Pictured above, far right) provides a spinal clinic in Holywell Community Hospital near Rhyl, he said: “The aim is always to do what is right for the patient, and in this case it was enhancing how they access The Walton Centre and its’ spinal services.

“As a part of our Care Close to Home Initiative bringing clinics to some of the more remote regions the hospital serves, which means less travel and more meeting clinicians, which is often a stressful occurrence, in a familiar setting.

“It also provides opportunity to develop an inter-regional network among various specialities and truly serves as a multidisciplinary facet of this service. Having held clinics already, I can say with some confidence that both patients and clinicians are responding positively to having us closer to home. I would like to thank everyone in The Walton Centre management team, especially Ms Emma Denby for all the hard work she has put in to make this happen.”

42 year-old Dominic Roberts from Rhuddlan near Rhyl injured his spine in 2008. After searching for a solution privately and through the NHS, Dominic was referred to The Walton Centre, shortly after Mr Rath’s new spinal clinic was brought to Holywell Community Hospital.   

He said: “My travel time to the hospital has been reduced from over an hour to 15 minutes. It means less pressure to get there and less anxiety about traffic. My injury means I’m in constant pain; so long journeys in the car can be very uncomfortable. 

“When I go to the clinic I don’t have to wait long and everyone is friendly and helpful. I feel supported and confident about the future. Having the new spinal clinics in North Wales means we’ve got some of the best surgeons and clinicians in the country closer to home, which can only improve the quality of support for patients like me.”

Mr Birender Balain (pictured above, far left), Consultant Spine Surgeon at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH), who is currently running a clinic at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, said: “The extension of these clinics, based at locations closer to patients’ homes, is highly beneficial for the patients. This greatly benefits other clinicians as well. A multi-disciplinary approach is most helpful, and this helps the Clinical Musculoskeletal Assessment and Treatment Service (CMATS) team as well by supporting them. Enhanced teaching through interaction helps to make the most effective treatment plans for patients in a timely manner.

“The clinics at Wrexham Maelor have, already in just a few months, helped a closer understanding between different specialities like spine surgery, pain clinics and CMATS clinicians, and it is great to see that.  This will result in better pathways for patient care and management in the long run.”

Yvonne Rimmer, Consultant Therapist MSK at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “Having access to the spinal consultants from The Walton Centre and RJAH has enabled multi-disciplinary clinics to be set up where complex patients can be discussed and management  advised, facilitating  provision of high quality, safer practice through access to this expertise. These case discussions have also reduced inappropriate referrals to tertiary services. Staff and their patients are better supported with these shared clinics in place.

“It has also enabled shared spinal learning events with orthopaedics, radiology and physiotherapists supporting spinal pathway improvement work.”

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Notes to editors

Further information, or to arrange a visit contact the Communications Team on 0151 556 3397 or email wcf-tr.waltoncentre.communications@nhs.net.

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is the only hospital trust in the UK specialising in neurology, neurosurgery and pain services. It has twice been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. Although the majority of patients come from Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, Lancashire and the Isle of Man, for some specialist treatments of complex disorders we see patients from all parts of the country, referred by their GPs or other neurologists, neurosurgeons and pain clinicians.

For more information please visit: www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk or follow the Trust on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Lower Lane, Fazakerley, Liverpool L9 7LJ
0151 525 3611

  • Summary:

    The Walton Centre has extended satellite spinal clinics in North Wales for the first time. The specialist neurosciences trust, based in Liverpool, is working alongside the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt NHS Foundation Trust to bring care for spinal patients closer to home.