The Guardian today has announced that Professor Winston, long seen on our televisions as the friendly face of fertility, is launching an online Q&A service for fertility patients at the end of this month.
As one one of the pioneers of IVF he certainly knows what he's talking about and he has always championed the needs of the patient over the workings of the more market-orientated private IVF facilities. Professor Winston has argued that prices should come down and more accurately reflect the costs of the treatment, rather than charge what a clinic thinks couples will pay.
However, as he tells Kate Brian, the main thrust of this new service is to answer patients' fertility questions accurately. Our patients are often confused by conflicting advice they get from different consultants and IVF nurses. Usually, we have found, this not due to misinformation or lack of knowledge but more due to the fact that IVF is not a precise science and sometimes there actually is more than one answer to a problem or scenario.
Through the Genesis Research Trust he "wants to offer a reliable source of information to fertility patients, who often find themselves bewildered by the mass of conflicting advice they face, particularly on the internet."
The Natural Fertility Centre has been in touch with Professor Winston over the years with more complex IVF-related queries and he has always been solicitous, caring and helpful. After initial hesitance about what we offered our patients, in terms of treatment, he was very positive on seeing the research and success rates.
Our fear is that he could become inundated with questions - our questions were always answered at 1am so I hope he manages to find time to sleep!