Being separated from a newborn baby is so difficult, but all the support Sandra gave was so beneficial – she was able to see the importance of me still seeing William regularly.

Ruth Clout mother of William, born prematurely on the Jessop Wing

The care delivered by NHS staff in our Sheffield Teaching Hospitals network is outstanding, but resources are limited.Your generosity helps to ease the challenges that are faced by patients and their families, whose lives are turned upside down by unexpected diagnoses or setbacks in hospital.

Supporting new parents with a Family Nurse

A premature birth can be distressing enough by itself, but in the subsequent days it can be difficult for parents to get the vital bonding time they and their new baby need. Our hospitals provide outstanding neonatal intensive care and special care for sick and premature babies on the Jessop Wing, but there was a gap in the services for parents. 

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, a Family Support Nuse is now available to help with this. Sandra is often the first and last person parents come into contact with on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where she helps families prepare for the birth of a premature baby, provides advice for when it’s time to take their baby home and guides them through the most challenging moments in between.

Ruth's enlarged heart brings an early birth

Ruth Clout, aged 39, from Chapel-en-le-Frith was admitted to the Jessop Wing at 33 weeks pregnant purely as a precaution, after suffering coughing and breathlessness. She was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and transferred to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, where she first met the Sheffield Hospitals Charity-funded Family Nurse, Sandra Brown. Sandra explained what Ruth's heart issues meant for the birth and discussed the safest time to deliver her baby.

Sandra spent time with Daniel and me, but also my mum and dad. The booklets she gave us helped us to explain to our four-year-old daughter Emily that our baby was going to be coming early, which made things less scary for her.

Unfortunately Ruth's condition deteriorated later that day. The following day, William was born by Caesarean section and was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to receive the specialist care he needed. Ruth was under general anaesthetic, but Sandra took photos and looked after Ruth's husband, Daniel, and her parents.

Ruth in a hospital bed holding newborn William, with William

Crucial family time for Ruth and William

I was very worried and upset about being separated from my baby at birth and not bonding. But after I was woken from the anaesthetic, the neonatal transfer team and Sandra had brought William to see me on the ward in cardiac intensive care.

Ruth stayed in hospital for two weeks and during this period Sandra ensured she saw William on a daily basis. Initially she arranged for him to be transferred by ambulance to see Ruth, and then when he was well enough, she took him over in a car seat. Without Sandra’s help, Ruth would not have seen her baby and would have missed out on his early development.

Sandra explains why this time together was so important for the whole family:

Special moments for patients and their families

Ruth and Daniel will never forget the special moments with William that Sandra enabled them to enjoy during the difficult early days and weeks of his life. Countless other families continue to benefit from similar support, advice and reassurance that take the care at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals beyond the limits of NHS resources – thanks to people like you.