The Walton Centre Intraoperative MRI


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The Walton Centre is the only specialist neurosciences trust in the Uk, and offers a world-class service in diagnosing and treating injuries and illnesses affecting the brain, spine and peripheral nerves and muscles, and in supporting people suffering from a wide range of long-term neurological conditions.

The Brief

The catchment population for the trust is over 3.5 million and includes; Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester, the Isle of Man and North Wales. An extension to the theatre and imaging departments was required to provide two theatres and an intraoperative MRI facility to meet the healthcare demands of these regions.

This complex scheme is sandwiched between exisiting theatres and imaging departments. Extensive stakeholder engagement including user group consultation took place with both departments in order to ensure that the highly technical requirements of both were fully satisfied. The scheme was constructed in phases to enable continuity of service within all neighbouring areas.

The Design

The key clinical and operational requirements included:

· Adjacencies within the Theatre Department

· Infection control

· Patient flows

· Privacy/dignity & observation

· Future use of iMRI equipment in advanced surgical procedures

Rooms were grouped together to suit function and patient flows. A key element was the central alignment of the Anaesthetic to Theatre to the iMRI room and the ability of the MRI to be used generally as a normal diagnostic suite. The design also provides space for future expansion across from the iMRI room.

To accommodate the linear relationship of the specialist equipment, the facility had to extend right to the boundary of the site, which borders a curving roadway. In response to this, the external elevation is curved in form, creating a fluid appearance to the brick facade.

The Outcome

The carefully considered layout makes efficient use of the small site and delivers a leading healthcare environment in accordance with all clinical standards.

The project was completed in partnership with Interserve Construction (now Tilbury Douglas Construction), with the installation of the scanner and magnet being completed by Siemens.

This scheme cements Race Cottam’s growing reputation for the delivery of highly technical and complex serviced healthcare projects.