Professor Lord Winston becomes patron of the Friends of Hammersmith Hospital

Professor Lord Winston has become patron of the Friends of Hammersmith Hospital in support of the charity’s commitment to helping improve hospital services for local people.

Lord Winston has a long-standing connection with the charity as Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London.

The Friends of Hammersmith Hospital is an independent charity, made up of dedicated volunteers that support a wide range of hospital departments and facilities.

Una Jeffries, from the Friends of Hammersmith Hospital, said:  “We are delighted that Lord Winston isbecoming patron of our charity, as a long serving and pioneering past member of staff and now a popular public figure, he is in a unique position to promoteand appreciatethe work the Friends do for the hospital.”

Lord Winston joined Hammersmith Hospital as a registrar in 1970 and developed gynaecological surgical techniques that improved fertility treatments.  He was a scientific advisor to the World Health Organisation's programme in human reproduction from 1975 to 1977. 

After time spent working abroad, he returned to the UK setting up the IVF service at Hammersmith Hospital which has pioneered various improvements in this technology.

He later pioneered new treatments to improve IVF and developed pre-implantation diagnosis. This allowed embryos to be screened for genetic diseases and has allowed parents carrying faulty genes to have children free of illnesses such as cystic fibrosis.

Lord Winston has presented many prime time BBC television programmes, including Superhuman, The Secret Life of Twins, Child of Our Time and the BAFTA award-winner The Human Body

Lord Winston said:  “I am delighted to be a patron of an organisation which has supported so many improvements for patient care at a time when people coming into hospital feel vulnerable and frightened.  This is most valuable charitable work.”

The Friends of Hammersmith Hospital was established in 1951, so celebrates its 65th anniversary next year.  

Over the years, volunteers have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to support the hospital.  Members run a gift shop, a flower shop and a second-hand charity shop and from the proceeds of these, plus membership subscriptions, a derby draw and an autumn draw, plus donations and legacies, the Friends is able to support many requests for new equipment and patient facilities at Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte’s Hospitals.  During 2013/2014, the charity supported requests to the value of £65,000.