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Imperial weight centre


Dr Scholtz has worked at the NHS Trust, Imperial Weight Centre, St Mary’s Hospital for the past 15 years, as part of a multi-disciplinary team, providing psychiatric care for people on weight management treatment pathways.

She graduated from Stellenbosch University and completed her higher specialist training at St. George’s University of London, where she also worked for 3 years in a national eating disorders unit. Additionally, she has worked at West London NHS trust for the past 10 years, and for the last five years also held a corporate role of research and development director at West London NHS Trust.

Dr Scholtz holds a PhD from Imperial College London, funded by the Welcome Trust Charity and examined appetite and food reward changes in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery using functional magnetic resonance imaging. She continues to publish in the area of psychological management of people living with obesity and related conditions, recently with a focus on the lived experience thereof. Dr Scholtz presents at national and international conferences in her area of expertise.

Her approach to clinical practice is integrated care, and she works on the premise that we better address problems in our lives if we understand the mechanism contributing to these, both physiological and psychological and the interaction of these. She values working in a multi-disciplinary team, which is how she has always worked as a psychiatrist, and believes that when it comes to supporting a patient managing their own long term conditions, a team approach affords the patient the skills and expertise needed to support recovery better than any individual clinician, however good that clinician may be. She uses pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches in her practice and work with patients to support their preferred treatment options, presenting them with the best evidence available to inform that choice.

Dr Scholtz is also trained in various psychotherapeutic approaches and uses a cognitive behavioural or cognitive analytical approach.



General psychiatry, obesity, mental health

Research & publications

Barley EA, Bovell M, Bennett-Eastley K, Lee JT, Lee-Baggley D, Skene SS, Tai MZ, Brooks S, Scholtz S. Addressing a critical need: A randomised controlled feasibility trial of acceptance and commitment therapy for bariatric surgery patients at 15-18 months post-surgery. PLoS One. 2023 Apr 25;18(4):e0282849. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0282849. PMID: 37098049; PMCID: PMC10128967.

Sullivan M, Fernandez-Aranda F, Camacho-Barcia L, Harkin A, Macrì S, Mora-Maltas B, Jiménez-Murcia S, O'Leary A, Ottomana AM, Presta M, Slattery D, Scholtz S, Glennon JC. Insulin and disorders of behavioural flexibility. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2023 Jul;150:105169. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2023.105169. Epub 2023 Apr 12. PMID: 37059405.

Pressanto C, Scholtz S, Ali N. Obesity and bariatric surgery in adults living with severe mental illness: perceptions and clinical challenges. BJPsych Bull. 2022 Jun 14:1-6.

Salem V, Demetriou L, Behary P, Alexiadou K, Scholtz S, Tharakan G, Miras AD, Purkayastha S, Ahmed AR, Bloom SR, Wall MB, Dhillo WS, Tan TM. Weight Loss by Low-Calorie Diet Versus Gastric Bypass Surgery in People With Diabetes Results in Divergent Brain Activation Patterns: A Functional MRI Study. Diabetes Care. 2021 Aug;44(8):1842-1851.

Arhi CS, Dudley R, Moussa O, Ardissino M, Scholtz S, Purkayastha S. The Complex Association Between Bariatric Surgery and Depression: a National Nested-Control Study. Obes Surg. 2021 May;31(5):1994-2001.

Hameed S, Salem V, Alessimii H, Scholtz S, Dar O, Miras AD, Meeran K, Bloom SR, Ahmed AR, Purkayastha S, Chahal H, Tan T. Imperial Satiety Protocol: A new non-surgical weight-loss programme, delivered in a health care setting, produces improved clinical outcomes for people with obesity. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2021 Jan;23(1):270-275.

Purkayastha P, Scholtz S, Ramezani R, Ahmed AR, Chahal H, Darzi A, Blakemor