Stephen Harbottle

Consultant Embryologist and Person Responsible

BSc(Hons) DipClinEmb, CSi, DipRCPath

Stephen joined the team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in 2009 as part of the team design and build team bringing the Cambridge IVF vision to life and designing what has become one of the finest examples of an IVF laboratory in the world.  He has over 20 years direct hands-on experience in embryology and diagnostic andrology, and started his career at the University of Bristol before moving to Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life, where he spent eight years as senior clinical scientist and laboratory manager.  Stephen took on the role of Consultant Embryologist and Person Responsible at Cambridge IVF in December 2014.

Stephen has been a State Registered Clinical Scientist since 2000 and is the current Chair of the Association of Clinical Embryologists and former Chair of the Association of Biomedical Andrologists.  He also a member of the Board of the International organisation ALPHA Scientists in Reproductive Medicine.  Stephen is a regular contributor to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) having been a Scientific Advisor on the Fertility Guideline Review (2013), Fertility Quality Standard (2014) and Fertility Evidence Update Review (2014-15).  He is also an Andrology Peer Assessor and Andrology specialist on the Professional Advisory Committee  for the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), carrying out inspections of the standards of practice in other andrology laboratories across the UK.  In 2015 Stephen was the lead author on the national opinion paper on elective single embryo transfer published in the journal Human Fertility.

Stephen says “We understand how important your developing embryos are to you and have taken every precaution to ensure their safety.  We have the very latest equipment and electronic systems in place to constantly nurture and monitor your embryos, and essential laboratory parameters, such as the temperature of incubators, fridges and freezers and even the air quality inside the lab every minute of every day! ”

“We are well aware that fertility treatment is a difficult and emotional process, and want to make sure you get the best care in the best surroundings. I believe the facility we have at Cambridge IVF does just that. We have tried to put ourselves in your place and think about the unit’s atmosphere and environment so that it’s modern, friendly and welcoming.”

Stephen is deeply passionate about delivering the highest standards of treatment within an NHS environment and is a strong believer in keeping fertility treatment in the public sector.  He says: “I lead a team of highly skilled and deeply motivated scientists who share a commitment and ethos to clinically excel, challenge the status quo and make you and your treatment our absolute priority. We keep our fingers on the pulse of new developments, and will carefully evaluate new treatment options and techniques to ensure the portfolio of services we offer give you the maximum possible chance of a safe and successful outcome.”

 “Cambridge IVF is a centre of excellence which offers truly individualised care. Choosing our services means you’ll always have time to air your views on how your treatment should be managed and are included in any decisions we make. We’ll make sure you are informed of what’s happening at every stage of your treatment and are always involved and informed within your own care.”

View Stephen's publications.