Documenting Neo-natal Special Care Unit at Jessops Hospital

Documentary Photography at Jessops Neo-Natal Special Care Unit

In April 2017, The Jessop Wing Neonatal Unit commissioned professional photographer Andy Brown to spend time on the ward with his camera, talking to new mums and dads and capturing the stories of their time on the unit.  Eighteen photographs were selected and are now displayed at the entrance to the unit and on the corridor leading down to the unit.

The purpose of the gallery is to give confidence to families, of babies who are premature or unwell on the neonatal unit, to be a parent to them during this difficult time.

The photographs reflect the philosophy of the unit and show parents sharing moments on the unit with new parents and families who are beginning theirs.

Claire Howard, Matron for the Neo-Natal Special Care Unit explains:-

Parents tell me frequently that they feel unprepared for the range of emotions they go through when they have a baby in the neonatal unit. We always listen to parents as their experience and insight helps us to adapt and continue to give the best support and care for their babies.  These pictures tell their stories and Andy has captured this beautifully in his photographs.   We hope it will bring many parents some comfort during their time with us.”

Andy has been working in similar settings in other hospitals.  He has an eye for detail and is particularly sensitive to the range of emotions young mother and fathers experience when their new-born baby is in need of special care.

I was particularly pleased to be working in Jessops Hospital as both my children were born there.  When I work, I aim to stay in the background and try to be as invisible and non-intrusive as possible, documenting the day to day happenings on the ward.  My experience of being on the ward was very positive; parents, relatives and staff were very generous in sharing their experiences.

Documenting hospitals is fascinating. It gives you a glimpse into a world that is unfamiliar but that most of us come into contact with during our lives”.