Celebrating International Women’s Day at Manchester Fertility

8th March 2023 in News

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Celebrating International Women's Day at Manchester Fertility

International Women's Day takes place annually on March 8th and is a global celebration of women's social, economic, and political achievements. It is a perfect time to celebrate the expertise of all the women here at Manchester Fertility who work tirelessly in their specialisms to support patients on their fertility journeys. In celebration of this year's International Women's Day, we spoke to a handful of women from our exceptional team about what it means to work for us and what they love most about their role.

Kelly Young, New Patient Manager

Kelly has worked with Manchester Fertility for eight years; she understands every aspect of the patient journey. As our New Patient Manager, she uses her diverse expertise to help patients on the first steps of their fertility journeys. Kelly, and the New Patient team, are a crucial part of our patient-focused journey and ensure the quality of care for every single one of our patients from the moment they contact us. 

Kelly says: "I am honoured to be a part of such a well-established, hardworking team, and I love working with the patients as they take the first steps of their journey."

Liz Johnson, Donor Programme Manager

If you are having fertility treatment with donor eggs, one of the first people you will meet on your treatment journey is Donor Programme Manager Liz Johnson. Liz has a wealth of experience supporting patients in healthcare environments and is passionate about customer service. She also plays a vital role in supporting our donors and patients who need donor eggs for their treatment, ensuring they're well-informed about the process and finding the perfect match for their treatment.

Liz says: "It's such an honour to be a part of the egg donation process, guiding our patients through the process of treatment with donor eggs and helping women to give this amazing gift."

Dr. Anamika Rao, Fertility Consultant

Dr Anamika Rao is one of the most experienced Fertility Consultants at Manchester Fertility. She has a special interest in recurrent embryo implantation and miscarriage and has successfully treated patients with complicated fertility histories. She was instrumental in the successful birth of our first baby through Endometrial Receptivity Array testing. After many failed IVF cycles, she used genetic techniques to welcome baby Ernest, a much-longed-for son for Joanne and Andrew.

Anamika says: "There is nothing more rewarding than helping patients have a baby. By adopting a personalised and individual approach, combined with the right treatment plan, we can maximise the chances of success."

Anne Hurleston, Ultrasonographer

Anne Hurleston has over 30 years of ultrasound experience. She has many qualifications, including Diploma in Diagnostic Radiography, Post Graduate Diploma in Medical Ultrasound and Open University Diploma in Health Service Management. She has always had a passion for Medical Ultrasound. Anne is our highly trained sonographer who works alongside Becky at Manchester Fertility. They continue to support our patients at the start of their journey and during their treatment by monitoring scans, and ensuring the scan is explained, so patients feel relaxed and reassured.

Anne says: "I'm here to reassure and support you at what can be a very anxious time. I'll always explain what I see when I do a scan. I feel that understanding the ultrasound images and what they're showing me helps patients feel more at ease."

Dr. Debbie Falconer, Managing Director

As one of our Managing Directors, Debbie has been at Manchester Fertility since we opened our doors in 1985 and was a member of the team that helped welcome our first IVF baby, Philip Hood, in April 1987.

Since then, under Debbie's guidance, our clinic has helped create more than 7,000 more babies, using the latest technologies and medical advances to ensure that we remain at the forefront of fertility treatments in the UK. Part of that strategy was to build a team of fertility experts, many of whom are women and many who remain part of our team today. Since then, Debbie has supported training initiatives and programmes for all staff who want to further their careers in the field of fertility.

Debbie says: "The fact that I've been here since the beginning has given me a unique view of infertility causes and treatments. Treatment advances have achieved so much over the years for so many people. It's an exciting future, and we never stand still – we're constantly researching new methods and ways of treating fertility problems and investing in our team of experts."

Samantha Potts, Head of Nursing

Samantha Potts has always been passionate about women's health. She joined Manchester Fertility as a registered nurse and midwife in 1997 before taking specialist training in assisted conception and sonography. As our Head of Nursing, Sam takes a personal interest in all her patients, and has touched countless lives in the years she has worked here.

Sam says: "I've spent the vast majority of my career looking after the health needs of women, and needing help to conceive is perhaps the biggest issue facing many women today. What's important is that you don't wait to seek help. Don't be worried and afraid – we're a friendly team and will help you through every step."

Rihannah Leech-Ratchford, Patient Services Manager

Rihannah Leech-Ratchford is our expert Patient Services Manager, and she knew this job was for her when she walked into the clinic. Rihannah manages our In-Patient team, ensuring our patients receive the highest possible quality of patient care. Rihannah finds joy in supporting patients throughout the treatment process and can provide tailored advice to all who visit the clinic, thanks to her wealth of experience and caring personality.

Rihannah says: "I get a great sense of satisfaction in helping others, and I can't think of anything more rewarding than being part of the journey that helps patients achieve their dream of having a baby."

Lynsey Moorhead, Fertility Support Midwife

Lynsey Moorhead decided that she wanted to become a midwife when she was still in primary school. Having worked in several labour wards, a specialist care unit, and even as a research midwife, Lynsey has extensive experience in the role and ensures her patients feel as though they are in safe hands through every step of their treatment.

At Manchester Fertility, Lynsey supports women during and after their fertility treatment. One of her most important jobs is helping to carry out early pregnancy scans, which can be very stressful for patients.

Lynsey says: "There really is nothing more rewarding for me than caring for a patient who may have struggled for some time to conceive, and then to be there at their pregnancy scan when they see the little heartbeat for the first time. To see their happiness – and their babies when they're born – is just so satisfying."

Lydia Ruddick, Senior Embryologist

With qualifications in Genetics and Assisted Reproduction Technology, Lydia trained as a Clinical Embryologist in Birmingham. With research experience in early embryo development at the French National Research Institute and clinical practice observation in Australia, she brings her wide-ranging expertise to Manchester Fertility.

Lydia is being supported by Managing Director Debbie Falconer and the Manchester Fertility team as she completes the Higher Scientific Training Programme (HSST), a five-year work-based training programme. As only two reproductive scientists in the country that the programme in 2023, the HSST will allow Lydia to support patients and the wider team better.

Lydia says, "I love working in a field where our work is significant. It's a real privilege to care for embryos, keeping our patients informed of their development and helping create families with our cutting-edge facilities and treatment options."

Jingyi Xie, Pre-registration Embryologist

Jingyi is a member of our laboratory team and works as a Pre-registration Clinical Embryologist. She has an MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Biology from Imperial College London. She worked as an Andrologist at TDL, and a Reproductive Laboratory Associate at Complete Fertility, Southampton, before joining Manchester Fertility in 2021.

Like her laboratory colleague, Lydia, Jingyi has also been part of our extended training programme and was recently awarded the Iwan Lewis-Jones prize at the 2023 Joint Fertility Conference for her presentation of research into the use of artificial intelligence during sperm selection. 

Jingyi says: “I love working in this field as it is a huge privilege to play a part in each patient's fertility journey, and when patients come back to visit with their new bundle of joy, that feeling is fantastic. I am grateful for the wonderful training opportunities Manchester Fertility has provided me and the support from my wonderful colleagues to help me reach my career goals and to experience the joy of helping our patients."


We would like to wish you all a happy International Women's Day! At Manchester Fertility, we are grateful to have such amazing, hardworking and passionate women who make our clinic what it is today. We've only talked about a handful of our inspirational ladies, who represent a small percentage that comprise our expert team. Learn more about our team here.

We would also like to say a big thank you to all our patients - we have loved being part of your fertility journeys, and for everyone still in treatment, we're here for you every step of the way.

Ready to discuss treatment with our team of experts? Learn more about our diverse fertility treatment offering today by calling 0161 300 2737 or book a free 1-2-1 discovery appointment via our website.

Last updated: 8th March 2023