Radiology MRI Claustrophobia Clinic celebrates ten years of scanning patients at The Walton Centre

Date: 08 April 2024

Claustrophobia 10 year

Our radiology department 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.

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”.



Notes to editors

Further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact the Communications Team at The Walton Centre on 0151 556 3397 or

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is the only hospital trust in the UK specialising in neurology, neurosurgery and pain services. 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.

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. The independent regulator of all health and social care services in England published its rating on Friday 21 October 2016, following announced and unannounced inspection visits to the Trust in April 2016.

For more information please visit: 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:

    Our radiology department is celebrating an incredible ten years of providing a specialist MRI clinic for patients with claustrophobia.