Thousands of people in fertility treatment, or waiting for it, at the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine at Southmead Hospital, received letters this week to let them know that the clinic will close at the end of November.
The letter says that the centre - which joined the North Bristol NHS Trust in 2008 - has seen a "reduction in the number of NHS funded patients receiving treatment with us, with more couples now self-funding their treatment." In fact, 60 per cent of the clinic's patients are now privately funded.
It added, "we want to reassure you that the continuity of care for our patients is of the greatest importance to us, As such, plans are in place to ensure that the transfer of care to a new provider or providers, happens as smoothly as possible." A formal tendering process will open in the next few weeks.
But for many, the news has left them uncertain about what will happen next.
Kitty Webster, who lives in East Bristol, is in 'treatment planning'. This means she's yet to start a form of IVF, but is a patient at the clinic. She has to wait for an operation before she can proceed, and is worried that it won't happen before the November deadline.
In a statement, the Trust said:
Laura Banks lives in Colerne in Wiltshire. She is 20 weeks pregnant following a round of IVF, funded by the NHS. But she still has eggs in storage at the centre.
Campaign group Fertility Fairness calls the South West a 'fertility blackspot'. In a statement charity Fertility Network UK said:
A formal process to find a new provider will begin in July. Company CREATE Fertility will bid to take over all NHS referrals.