Tees

Coronavirus: Middlesbrough doctor photographs front-line staff

Two medics embracing Image copyright Dr Matthew Jones
Image caption The photographs were taken in the critical care department at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough

A doctor who worked on the front line against Covid-19 has released photographs he took during the pandemic.

Dr Matthew Jones, based at Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital, said the pictures showed the "courage" and "commitment" of staff.

The acute medicine doctor took photographs to depict the strain fellow doctors and nurses have been working under since the outbreak spread.

A display can be viewed at the hospital and on an online gallery.

Image copyright Dr Matthew Jones
Image caption Dr Matthew Jones captured colleagues wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic

The photographs show colleagues kitted out in full personal protective equipment (PPE).

Dr Jones said he had wanted to document what was happening in the critical care unit following his experiences of working in South Sudan in 2018, where he used photography to understand what it was like working in an rapidly changing environment.

Image copyright Dr Matthew Jones
Image caption Dr Jones praised the team spirit of his colleagues

"It gave a means to pause and reflect and find answers, and continues to do so even now," he said.

"I wanted to offer that simple resource to staff in intensive care at James Cook, so they could process events and move forward with a sense of what they had achieved."

Image copyright Dr Matthew Jones
Image caption A selection of photographs are now on display in the hospital's main atrium

He added: "The atmosphere in the intensive care unit was amazing.

"You sensed the strong bonds that existed between them all, a real spirit of care for each other's welfare."

Image copyright Dr Matthew Jones
Image caption Dr Jones said the photographs showed the strong bonds that existed between colleagues

Some of the images he took are on display in the hospital, while others have been shown on a website created with his colleague, intensive care consultant Dr Alex Scott.

Image copyright Dr Matthew Jones
Image caption Dr Jones is an acute medicine doctor and decided to take the photographs following an experience in South Sudan

Dr Jones said: "I think the photos do a little justice to the stresses and pressure of the environment, but also the immense humanity on display as staff made such an effort to build bonds with the patients despite the obstacles they faced.

"To spend the time they did in personal protective equipment and in such heightened stress and emotion was an incredible effort, and to do so with humour, good spirit and such team spirit even more so."

Image copyright The James Cook University Hospital
Image caption Dr Jones looks at a photograph taken during the pandemic

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