Walton Centre

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Coordinates: 53°28′00″N 2°55′52″W / 53.46654°N 2.9310°W / 53.46654; -2.9310

Walton Centre
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
The Walton Centre, Fazakerley (1).JPG
Main Entrance, Lower Lane
Location Lower Lane, Fazakerley, Liverpool, L9 7LJ.
Care system Public NHS
Hospital type Specialist
Affiliated university University of Liverpool, Edge Hill University, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Emergency department No
Beds 157[1]
Speciality Neurology and Neurosurgery
Founded 1941 as the Walton Centre for Neurology at Walton Hospital[2]
Website http://www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk

The Walton Centre, formerly known as the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, is a major neurology hospital located in the suburb of Fazakerley; in the city of Liverpool, England. It is one of several specialist hospitals located within the Liverpool City Region; alongside Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool Women's Hospital, Mersey Regional Burns and Plastic Surgery Unit, and Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.

The Walton Centre is the only specialist neurosciences NHS trust in the country, dedicated to providing comprehensive neurological, neurosurgical and pain management services. The majority of patients originate from Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, Lancashire and the Isle of Man; but for some specialist treatments of complex disorders the centre sees patients from all regions of the United Kingdom, referred by their general practitioner (GP) or other hospitals.[3]

The hospital does not have an accident and emergency department, however; alongside adjoining Aintree University Hospital, Walton acts as a designated major trauma centre and receives emergency transfers for those who have sustained neurological trauma in the region.[4]

The wards in the hospital are all named after pioneering neurosurgeons in the 20th and 21st century.


The Walton Centre originated from the Walton Centre for Neurology at Walton Hospital on Rice Lane in Walton, Liverpool.

The Walton Centre originally provided services from the Walton Centre for Neurology at Walton Hospital on Rice Lane in Walton, Liverpool. However, as demand for services continued to increase; the capacity for provision at the relatively small Rice Lane site decreased and in 1998 all services were transferred to a new, purpose-built complex two miles north in Fazakerley adjacent to and adjoining Aintree University Hospital. The centre has continued to provide an expanding service to the public ever since.[2] The centre achieved NHS Trust status in 1992, and gained NHS Foundation Trust status in 2009. The model of care operated by the trust aims to ensure that the benefits of highly specialised care are taken as close as possible to the homes of the patients.


The Walton Centre is renowned for providing exceptional care to people suffering with neurological problems and long-term conditions. The Trust’s consultant neurologists run 15 satellite general neurology clinics in hospitals around the North West of England and North Wales, delivering care nearer to patients’ homes, and ward referrals within those hospitals. At the centre, there is an inpatient and on-call service for neurological patients from across the region, and both general and many sub-specialist outpatient clinics. The sub-specialist clinics cover the full range:

  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and movement disorders, ataxias, neurogenetic disorders
  • multiple sclerosis (MS), other demyelinating disorders of the nervous system including transverse myelitis and neuromyelitis optica
  • Dementia
  • Neuromuscular Disease
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • TIA and Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Headache
  • Infectious Disorders of the nervous system

The centre has strong multidisciplinary working, with specialist nurses in epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, deep brain stimulation and myasthenia. They maintain regular contact with patients through clinics, group sessions, telephone and e-mail and, for some, also home visits.


The vast majority of clinics occur at the Walton Centre, but there is also a clinic at Chester and spinal clinics at Whiston Hospital and Wigan. A comprehensive range of neurosurgery takes place at the centre, using the latest techniques and often pioneering new methods. A full core emergency service is provided, with other services provided through a sub-specialist model comprising:

  • Neuro-oncology (primary & secondary tumours)
  • Pituitary surgery
  • Spinal
  • Functional neurosurgery including surgery for:
    • Epilepsy
    • Deep brain stimulation for movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, tremor, dystonia
  • Neurosurgical treatment of pain, including:
    • Trigeminal neuralgia
    • Spinal cord stimulation
    • Intrathecal drug delivery
    • Deep brain stimulation
  • Vascular neurosurgery
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Trauma – both cranial and spinal

Many of these are supported by specialist nurses. The Trust has a 20-bedded dedicated critical care facility, five fully resourced theatres and a separate suite for interventional neuro-radiology techniques, with a 24-hour on-call emergency service. One recent development is the use of stereotactic radiosurgery to treat CNS tumours, both benign and malignant, and arteriovenous malformations with accurately focused beams of radiation, providing so-called "knifeless surgery". The service has grown year on year and the spinal surgical service is now one of the biggest in the country.

Pain Services[edit]

The Walton Centre leads the way nationally with its innovative programme of pain relief for chronic sufferers, delivered by a multi disciplinary team and, unusually, the department of neurosurgery participates in the delivery of the pain services. Several procedures are not widely available outside Walton. They include spinal cord stimulation, deep brain stimulation and intrathecal drug delivery systems.

The Centre for Pain Relief is closely associated with the Pain Research Institute - the only research institute in the world entirely devoted to the scientific study of chronic pain in humans. The team includes pain clinicians, neurosurgeons, neurologists, psychologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists. There are four consultants who hold outpatient clinics daily.


The hospital has been criticised for not offering treatments available in the United States.[5][6]

There have been allegations that a surgeon at the hospital removed brain tissue for research purposes without the patient's consent. The samples were used to test a new treatment for brain diseases on which the surgeon was joint owner of the patent.[7]


In 2006, the hospital was identified as "the most dangerous hospital in Merseyside and Cheshire for health workers".[8]

In 2015 it was named by the Health Service Journal as the second best acute specialist trust to work for. At that time it had 1,160 full-time equivalent staff and a sickness absence rate of 4.45%. 88% of staff recommend it as a place for treatment and 77% recommended it as a place to work.[9]

In November 2015 leaders at The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust were shortlisted for five separate awards.[10]

The Walton Center became the second specialist hospital in the UK to receive the top rating by the Care Quality Commission in October 2016[11] [12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "My Hospital Guide 2013: Essential Reading for Smart Spending". drfosterhealth.co.uk. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "News". icnetwork.co.uk. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  3. ^ The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust. "About Us". 
  4. ^ "The Walton Centre - Merseyside and Cheshire Major Trauma Collaborative". thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  5. ^ Innes, Caroline (27 August 2008). "I need to raise £40,000 to beat a killer". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  6. ^ Erwin, Alan (15 June 2006). "CJD DAD BACKS SON'S DOCTOR IN LEGAL FIGHT; Drug pioneer sues ex-bosses.(News)". The Mirror (London, England). Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  7. ^ Barnett, Antony (25 February 2007). "Hospital in brain tissue allegations. Medical school accused of cover-up after claim that surgeon retained samples without consent". The Observer. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  8. ^ Merrick, Rob (10 June 2006). "The most dangerous place to try to heal the sick.(News)". Daily Post (Liverpool, England). Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  9. ^ "HSJ reveals the best places to work in 2015". Health Service Journal. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "The Walton Centre - Finalists for five top awards". thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  11. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-37729735
  12. ^ https://www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk/News/320/cqc-rates-trust-as-outstanding.html


  • Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery National Health Service Trust (Establishment) Order 1991 S.I. 1991/2411

External links[edit]

Media related to Walton Centre at Wikimedia Commons