Plymouth's hospital trust has announced it will no longer offer IVF treatment from next year, ITV West Country has learned.
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust said the decision has been taken for 'operational reasons', citing 'our ability to sustain the service and manage space'.
IVF treatment, male fertility tests and sperm preparation and the storage of embryos, sperm and eggs will no longer be offered by the trust, but the local Clinical Commissioning Group says it is trying to find a new provider.
ITV News has spoken to one patient, who wanted to stay anonymous, who says many families in the city will be 'devastated'.
Patients currently undergoing an IVF treatment cycle at Derriford Hospital will not be affected, while eggs, sperm and embryos will continue to be stored until a new provider is found.
The trust will continue to provide outpatient services for people with recurring miscarriage and specialist endocrinology clinics.
We have taken this decision after careful consideration for operational reasons, which include our ability to sustain the service and manage space at the hospital.
Patients currently undergoing an IVF treatment cycle at Derriford Hospital will not be affected. Eggs, sperm and embryos stored with University Hospitals Plymouth will continue to be safely stored until a new provider is found, when they will be safely transferred. The CCGs will now hold a competitive bidding process for the re-provision of an NHS-funded Assisted Conception Service for the Plymouth and surrounding area. The CCGs are committed to improving services and finding a local solution for patients.
Hundreds of women and their partners are devastated and have been left completely in the dark as to whether they will get their specific treatment or not. This has already, and is going to have, a huge impact on hundreds of local couples both physically and mentally.