RETRO: Changing face of birth

Jessops Hospital for Women, Sheffield 10 July 1990.'Chemotherapy Ward.
Jessops Hospital for Women, Sheffield 10 July 1990.'Chemotherapy Ward.
0
Have your say

It is a place that has brought great relief - although associated with great pain - for generations of Sheffield women, not to mention their husbands.

The JessopHospital for Women is the place you were born, the place you gave birth, or both for the majority of Sheffielders over a certain age.

Jessops Hospital for Women, Sheffield 10 March 1970'Special Baby Care Unit.

Jessops Hospital for Women, Sheffield 10 March 1970'Special Baby Care Unit.

So many gave their first scream there as parents’ shed a tear of delight at the arrival of a new bundle of joy.

Yet that wasn’t always the case. Back in 1804 the name Jessop was just as well known in Sheffield but for steel. Thomas Jessop went on to become one of the city’s greatest benefactors.

He was a member of the first Sheffield Town Council and the board of Police Commissioners, Master Cutler, Chief Magistrate, Alderman and had to deal with one of the city’s worst ever disasters, the Great Sheffield Flood, when he was Mayor.

He also built one of the country’s biggest steel firms - Jessop Works in Brightside.

Jessops Hospital for Women, Sheffield 23 July 1985'Katie and Vicky Chatterton

Jessops Hospital for Women, Sheffield 23 July 1985'Katie and Vicky Chatterton

Yet today his name lives on most prominently thanks to the Jessop Hospital for Women. He wanted to help the city’s poorest women and it cost him £30,000.

The hospital was made in two parts, one Victorian and the other Edwardian.

Fortunately maternity services have come a long way since Thomas Jessop gave cash to help Sheffield’s women.

Since 2001 his name is no longer associated with an entire hospital but with the Jessop Wing of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

It opened as a purpose-built maternity unit where approximately 7,000 babies are born every year.

There is a 22-bed labour ward, three postnatal and one antenatal ward, an admission triage area and a high dependency unit.

The neonatal intensive care has saved the lives of countless babies.

One of the wards specialises in caring for women after a caesarean section.

There is also the Jessop Wing Community Midwifery Service which looks after 200 homebirths a year.

How things have changed since the days of the Jessop Hospital for Women, in terms of both healthcare and architecture.

n Don’t miss tomorrow’s Midweek Retro for more memories and photos of the Jessop Hospital across the decades.