Health chiefs are preparing to unveil a ground-breaking new service at Neath Port Talbot Hospital. The Wales Fertility Centre will launch on April 1 and will be split between two sites — a new one at the Baglan Moors hospital and the second the existing centre at Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales.
Around £1.7 million is being spent on adapting and equipping the former coronary care and high dependency unit at Neath Port Talbot.
The service, being managed by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, expects to see around 800 patients a year split between the two sites — with the capacity to increase this.
Previously, IVF treatment was commissioned from the private London Women's Clinic, which was based in Singleton Hospital.
Wales Fertility Institute director Adnan Bunkheila said: "We always wanted to invest in fertility and in IVF, to have an NHS service, and the health board was fully on board in supporting this.
"If you invest in the NHS service you are training people and keeping them. Previously we would train them and then they would go somewhere else.
"There were huge advantages in developing the service, and that is what we have been doing."
The cutting-edge centre has labs with the purest air quality systems, as well as the most high-tech equipment.
This includes a first-in-Wales embryoscope, which looks at individual embryos to monitor their progress without disturbing them out of their ideal environment.
ABMU says the centre is among the most advanced in the UK and will provide treatments previously unavailable in Wales.
The health board's director of midwifery and women's services Cathy Dowling said: "Most health boards do fertility treatment, but not IVF. We always did have some fertility clinics here, but not IVF so that element is newl. It's something Neath Port Talbot Hospital has never had before.
"In the context of some of the concerns and criticisms about services being taken away, it has been positive to have a new service brought here.
"It has been well-received by the staff as well."