“I am very, very happy to be part of one of the best clinics I can work in.”
One sunny afternoon in November, we sat down to chat with the newest member of our team, Dr Vivienne Hall, consultant fertility specialist.
Her smile, calming presence and reassuring words throughout the interview made us realise what a tremendous compliment, she will be to our team.
Who is Dr Hall?
Dr Hall qualified at St Bartholmew’s Hospital, London, specialising in fertility and IVF after training in general obstetrics and gynaecology. Dr Hall started working in an IVF clinic in Harley Street in1989.
After her first experience working within the field of infertility and IVF, she transferred to Hammersmith Hospital under the guidance of Professor Lord Winston, a pioneer in IVF medicine. Here she carried out surgeries and mainstream IVF work.
In 1994, Dr Hall moved to Italy with her husband, where she opened 2 fertility treatment clinics in Milan and Turin. “We did everything we were doing in London, and we also introduced the genetic screening of embryos,” says Dr Hall. Unfortunately, a change in Italian law that didn’t allow full IVF treatments, resulted in Dr Hall and her husband returning to the UK in 2006.
Since 2006, Dr Hall has worked in several London-based fertility clinics. “I had another spell in the NHS delivering babies in NHS wards between 2010 and 2014,” recalls Dr Hall. She tells us that now she is back at doing what she loves the most, which is working in the field of IVF and fertility.
In London she followed her interest and deepened her knowledge in preimplantation genetics screening, immunology and recurrent miscarriage, and also the management of a critically low ovarian reserve, working with fertility experts in clinics around the country.
The most challenging part of her job
“Failure is the most difficult part,” says Dr Hall. “One of the most important aspects of my job is helping people get through the negative outcomes and putting them on the road to either accepting what has happened and to move on, or to have another attempt. We all want the best and we all expect the best. The journey can be very emotional for everybody,” explains Dr Hall. “However, the joy that comes from that positive test, a scan and a baby photograph are so rewarding.” She tells us that she has even been to the weddings of some of the babies she helped create - how amazing!
Becoming part of the HSFC family
Dr Hall tells us that she and Dr Venkat have discussed joining HSFC family for a very long time. They had always wanted to work together, but the timings were never right. “Harley Street Fertility Clinic has Dr Geetha Venkat at the helm. I’ve known her for a very long time. I know she does a very thorough assessment of all of her patients and offers a full service. It’s all done in-house, and it’s done in a very family-oriented way. It’s a family business, what you might call a ‘boutique’ IVF clinic, in the sense that the numbers are deliberately not huge, they are small, so we can offer our patients a personalised and PERSONAL care.”
Dr Hall says that everyone here at Harley Street Fertility Clinic has time to see all their patients and know exactly what they need. “We discuss every single case. We do know all our patients very well and that is at the heart of why I was attracted to HSFC.” Dr Hall confesses that, "I really like the continuity of care, where I get to see my patients throughout their journey- which isn’t so common in larger organisations.”
Working together… again
Dr Hall and Dr Venkat worked together at another clinic prior to the opening of HSFC, in addition to debating fertility techniques at various conferences. “I know how she thinks and I know what her main aims are, how thorough she is in preparing the patients for an IVF cycle. We don’t just rush into an IVF cycle to see what happens, having everything ready and in place is crucial”, Dr Hall shares.
Familiar faces at HSFC
“IVF is a very small world,” says Dr Hall. She admits being pleasantly surprised to reunite with Mustafa Daya, our Quality Manager, and Jenny, one of our wonderful nurses, all part of the HSFC family.
Are the processes at HSFC different to other clinics?
Dr Hall explains that clinical protocols are often similar, but the difference at HSFC is the continuity of care. “There are many ways of doing things, but we agree to do everything in the same way- our protocols are all the same. It’s a lot of attention to detail and refinement as we each know all of the patients. We do thorough investigations before we embark on IVF,” she adds.
Becoming part of HSFC
“I think it’s great, I’ve been very happy. It’s a small family unit. Everybody knows everyone. I feel very welcome, and I am sure our patients do as well,” says Dr Hall.
A message for our future patients
Dr Hall tells us, “I came here because this is probably one of the best clinics I could work in. I have wanted to work with Dr Venkat for a long time. We both think long and hard if there is anything that can possibly prevent a pregnancy for our patients and we will always asses our patients very thoroughly at each consultation, to find out more about their medical history.”
We would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr Hall to our HSFC family.
Dr Hall looks forward to providing a holistic, comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of infertility and also to discuss the findings in terms of the long term health of the parents. She shares Dr Venkat’s interest in the significant role which nutrition and chronic (often silent) inflammation have on egg and sperm quality, and therefore on embryo development and pregnancy success. Key to this approach is an awareness of the microbiome and it effect on inflammation and ageing.
Dr Hall is available for consultations most days and will be offering a personalised clinical service , with the support of the clinical, embryological, nursing, and admin team in this established centre of excellence.
To book a consultation with Dr Hall, please contact us today.