Magnetic Resonance Advisory Group

The Magnetic Resonance Advisory Group (MRAG) was established in 2011.

The Magnetic Resonance Advisory Group (MRAG) provides advice to the Society and College of Radiographers  (SoR | CoR) and the College Board of Trustees (CBoT) on all matters related to Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 

As the Scope of Magnetic Resonance Imaging increases, challenges continue to emerge around (including but not limited to):

  • The safety of patients and staff.
  • Determining the most appropriate protocols for investigating specific clinical conditions.
  • Workforce planning and development.
  • The integration of MR with other clinical and imaging procedures.

The groups remit includes:

  • Acting as a forum for the consideration of all magnetic resonance matters affecting radiographers and other members of the magnetic resonance workforce
  • Providing advice and guidance for the SoR and its members on all matters relating to magnetic resonance and on the future strategic direction for the organisation with specific reference to magnetic resonance and its practitioners
  • Developing professional guidance for approval and publication by the SoR | CoR as appropriate/requested

To read more about the purpose and remit of MRAG, please read the Terms of Reference document.

If you are interested in becoming a member of this group, please contact Alex Lipton, Professional Support Officer MRI.

Administrative support  

Lead Professional Officer

Ross McGhee
Council member

Meet the MRAG Members

  • James Berry

    Originally trained as a Diagnostic Radiographer at University of Suffolk, formally Suffolk College, practising at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

    He started his career at Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro before joining Alliance Medical Ltd, James subsequently gained extensive clinical MRI experience both within the NHS and Alliance Medical Ltd.

    In his current role as Head of MRI Clinical Services he has the rewarding challenge of working in collaboration with original equipment manufacturers introducing new technology into clinical practice to benefit the diagnostic pathway for patients.

    He maintains a keen interest in current professional issues through his involvement with the MRI Advisory Group and is involved in continued learning and development for the workforce as well as MRI clinical excellence.

  • Phillip Andrews

    Phil Andrews joined MRAG in 2021. Qualifying in 1994 his clinical career developed in MRI, including enhanced practice double reporting Cardiac MR, leading the local CMR service, followed by a number of years managing a large MRI department.

    He joined Keele University in 2019 as a full time lecturer, where, amongst other things, he leads the delivery of the MRI component of the undergraduate course.

    As well as Phil’s interests in MR safety and CMR, he is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is currently exploring how best to support the education of undergraduate radiographers in the science aspects of the profession.

  • Chris Bilton

    Chris is the MRI Service Lead at the United Lincolnshire NHS Trust, managing three, soon to be fivr, scanners and various outsourcing in one of the UK’s largest geographical Trusts.

    He had been working with MRI since qualifying in 1993 from Hull.  He has worked in both the NHS and private institutions across the country.  This has given him a wide knowledge of differing MRI practices.  After completing a BSc in Physics, he set up a Spectroscopy service whilst working in London.  He also provided applications for Philips along the way.

    He moved up to Grantham Hospital as Superintendent and installed the first cardiac MRI service in a DGH, which is BSCMR accredited. Whilst there, he did a PgD in Management of Health and Social Care.

    Chris is heavily involved at CCG level, and helps dictate local commissioning and service level agreements for Lincolnshire, offering pathways for primary care and cancer access.  Chris attained an MBA at Lincoln University in 2012.

    Chris sits on the Radiographer Prescribing SIG, and has a special interest in MRI governance.

  • Helen Estall (Chair)

    Helen is a SoR accredited Consultant Radiographer in MRI at the University Hospitals of Leicester.  She completed a MSc in MRI reporting in 2014 and reports MRI brains and spines.  Helen is on the BAMRR policy board and is a Technical Assessor for UKAS.  She lectures on several post graduate and undergraduate courses for radiographers and physiotherapists, has presented at national and international forums and has been PI for several local and national research studies.

  • Dr Christine Heales

    Christine undertook her initial training in Diagnostic Radiography at the Plymouth School of Radiography. She has had a varied career working in the NHS, the independent sector and academia.

    Her early career included a wide range of clinical practice including general radiography, radionuclide imaging, vascular ultrasound and clinical research. She then specialised in MRI, spent some time in academia, then moving into a leadership role before finally returning to academia.

    Whilst in MRI Christine qualified in MRI reporting of the head and spine. She subsequently became Principal MRI Radiographer for a busy MRI department. From there she returned to the University of Exeter where she is now Programme Director for the degree apprenticeship programmes in Diagnostic Radiography.

    In 2009, she was awarded a Doctorate in Physics following a programme of research into “bone marrow oedema type appearances in the equine metacarpal joint” which combined MRI with a range of other techniques (such as Raman microspectroscopy). Current research includes the use of emerging MRI techniques in a range of clinical conditions.

    She maintains a keen interest in current professional issues through her involvement the MR Advisory Group. She also maintains her role as a registered assessor for the Society and College of Radiographers involved in the accreditation and approval of educational courses and assistant and advanced practitioner applications.

  • Darren Hudson

    MRI Clinical Lead for InHealth, an Independent Sector provider of Diagnostic and Healthcare solutions within the UK. I work within the Clinical Quality team for the organisation and provide professional leadership for the MRI Radiographers we employ. My role encompasses many aspects of MRI across the business, from quality and governance to education and training.

    I was MRI Safety Certified by the American MRI Safety Board in 2016, which helps support my role as in MRI safety across the organisation in collaboration with our MRSE. As well as safety, I am passionate about patient experience within MRI and continue to drive this forward internally. I also have an interest in training and education with our internal training courses all approved or endorsed by the College of Radiographers.

    I am a trained QSI assessor and a SpA for the CQC which support my drive for quality and standards in MRI. I have my Masters in Health Science, a Post Graduate Certificate in Health and Social Care Management, and one in Clinical Education. I am currently studying for a Doctorate in Clinical Research where my prime focus is around Virtual Reality and its use as a preparatory tool prior to MRI. My other interests are around other innovations and their application within MRI, as well as advancing practice and supporting workforce development.

  • Felicity Lacchin

    She originally trained as a Diagnostic Radiographer at the Charles Sturt University – Riverina, Australia graduating in 1997. She spent 3 years working at St George Hospital in Sydney before moving to the U.K. She joined UCH in 2007 where she gained extensive experience in MRI.

    During her time at UCH she has completed a Diploma in MRI at Anglia Ruskin University, passed the Magnetic Resonance Safety Officer (MRSO) exam and is currently undertaking an apprenticeship in Operational Departmental Management. 

    She has led the MRI service at UCH since 2020 establishing new services like MRI guided breast biopsies, Sleep time MRI for paediatrics and expanding the fetal service to include diaphragmatic hernia imaging.

    She has a keen interest in paediatric imaging within the adult hospital helping establish the Paediatric MRI session with play specialist support. She is keen to improve the education of MR Radiographers in MRI safety ensure consistency across the MRI service.

  • Martin Mitchell

    Martin works part time as an Advanced Practitioner MRI Reporting Radiographer based at the Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent.  He has worked in MRI for over 18 years and has undertaken a PgD in clinical reporting of MRI examinations at Canterbury Christchurch University. Currently Martin reports MRI Spine, Knee, Brain and IAMs examinations on a regular basis and has been reporting MRI for over 12 years.

    Martin is also a lecturer in diagnostic Radiography at Canterbury Christ Church University where he leads the MRI Clinical Reporting post graduate modules as well as some undergraduate image interpretation modules. 

    Martin firmly believes that the skills and knowledge Radiographers gain from preliminary clinical evaluation of their daily work enhances both their own personal professionalism as well as having the potential to improve patient experience and outcomes; he believes that this should be an essential part of a Radiographers role.

  • Martin Pickles

    Graduated as a Diagnostic Radiographer from the University of Leeds in 1996 before practising as a general radiographer. Martin subsequently began a career in MR when he moved to a private mobile MR provider in 1998, this was the beginnings of over 20 years of experience in this field.

    In 2003, Martin switched from a purely clinical role to an academic position and in 2006 he was awarded a Doctorate in Medicine following a programme of research entitled “Prediction of Response of Patients with Breast Cancer to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy using Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging”.  He has authored various publications, undertaken conference presentations at international level, peer reviews for professional journals, and advised MR manufacturers on future product developments.

    Following this academic phase Martin returned to a clinical role in 2017, currently he practices as a Lead MRI Radiographer within Hull University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust.  He maintains a keen interest in current professional issues and is a passionate advocator of MR education.

  • Chloe Shand


    Chloe is a lecturer at Ulster University. She manages and teaches modules in both undergraduate and postgraduate Diagnostic Radiography and MRI. Chloe moved to Northern Ireland in 2014, continuing her career in CT and MRI. She has worked for the Royal Air Force, the NHS, and the private sector as a cross-sectional Radiographer since qualifying at the University of Derby in 2008.

    Her passion for teaching focuses on the student experience, classroom technology, patient-centred care and the patient voice.

    She is interested in the ever-changing MRI radiography profession and role development. As well as lecturing, she continues her clinical practice in MRI and CT. She is currently completing her MSc in Advancing Practice in MRI at Ulster University.

  • Sunitha Sivarajah


    Sunitha Sivarajah qualified as a radiographer from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. She is currently doing her master's in MRI at the University of Cumbria, UK.  She is a diplomat of the ABMRS and certified Magnetic Resonance Safety Officer (MRSO), Magnetic Resonance Safety Certified (MRSCTM).

    She worked as an MRI radiographer in different countries including Sri Lanka and the Maldives. In the UK, she worked as a senior MRI Radiographer in Cambridge University Hospitals and is currently in Imperial College NHS Trust, St Mary's Hospital.

    She got a scholarship to do her research at Nîgata University, Japan in 2012. She published her research at international conferences including UKIO.  Sunitha’s top tips is ‘Treat your patients as your family member’

  • Rachel Watt (Vice Chair)

    Rachel Watt is currently working in MRI in sunny Jersey.

    After completing her BSc in Diagnostic Radiography at Robert Gordon's University, Aberdeen, she worked in Edinburgh before going 'Down-Under' to specialise in MRI and study at the University of Queensland, obtaining her MSc.

    Rachel then returned to the UK and has held MRI Lead radiographer posts in the NHS and private sectors, whilst combining lecturing at post graduate level.
    Rachel has been an active member of the BAMRR Policy Board and MRAG for several years. being passionate about teaching and MRI education.

    'Pause and check' making sure everyone is happy is Rachel's top tip.

  • Emily Witten

    Emily currently works for Circle Health Group as the Clinical Services Manager for Imaging at Droitwich Spa Hospital. She qualified in 2000 and has gained extensive experience in MRI scanning and role development.

    She became MRI Lead Radiographer in 2006 at Spire Parkway Hospital, where she became one of only 4 radiographers in the UK to perform MRGFUS (Magnetic Resonance Guided Focused Ultrasound) treatments in 2013.

    She gained her certificate as an MRSO (Magnetic Resonance Safety Officer) which was accredited by the American Board of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in 2019.

    Emily is passionate about promoting MRI Safety awareness and maintains a keen interest in current professional issues through her involvement with the MR Advisory Group and QSI.

    She seeks to enhance her team’s knowledge and is passionate about patient safety.

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