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Tributes to New Cross Hospital call operator who died after contracting coronavirus

Tributes have been paid to a worker at Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital who died after catching coronavirus.

John Doyle, inset, had worked as a call handler at Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital, main

John Doyle, who was the first male telephonist to work at the hospital, died on March 30 after suffering respiratory problems before contracting Covid-19.

The 60-year-old from Fordhouses, Wolverhampton, worked for the trust for nearly four and a half years.

Previously he worked for West Midlands Police for 26 years, based at Wolverhampton Police Station, in Bilston Street, and Dunstall Road police station, first as a CCTV operator, then as civilian support.

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He was married to Kate, aged 59, who has worked as a ward clerk/receptionist in obstetrics and gynaecology at New Cross, for 34 years.

He leaves a daughter, Amy Pearce, 34, who is a nursing associate in paediatrics at New Cross, and three grandchildren.

Amy said: “My dad was a truly wonderful man who we all miss dearly. The loss is immeasurable but so is the love left behind.”

Police Dog Doyle

John has also had a puppy named after him in his honour.

He was always fond of dogs so when Amy saw an Instagram post from West Midlands Police appealing for names for a litter of three German Shepherd puppies, she decided to ask to see if one could be named after her father.

“They agreed and I thought it was a really fitting tribute to him for his time with the police,” said Amy.

The dog is named ‘Doyle’ after John.

He loved spending time with his grandchildren and visiting their caravan in Aberystwyth, as well as nature and bird watching.

A collection in John’s honour has raised nearly £700 which will be donated to Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station.

Colleagues also paid tribute to John.

Bernadette Tranter, switchboard supervisor, said: “He was an exceptional telephone operator and a lovely, lovely man. He was our first male operator but he fit in brilliantly as part of the family here.”

Head of switchboard and health records Sam Smith said: “John was a very kind, genuine and hard-working member of staff and we will greatly miss his presence in the Switchboard.”

Steve Townsend was John’s sergeant when he worked in the police force.

John Doyle

He said: “John spent 26 years of his life serving the communities of the West Midlands, keeping the people of Wolverhampton and Wednesfield safe by monitoring CCTV, directing officers to hidden offenders, potential disorders and wanted offenders or in face-to-face support over the counter in the police station helping resolve issues or those in need.

"The fact that on leaving the police family, he continued to try to help others by joining the NHS at New Cross, tells you all you need to know about what drove this man – his desire to help others.

"John was a kind, friendly, quietly-spoken gentleman with a wicked sense of humour who was always willing to go above and beyond his remit to help anyone who asked.

"It is testament to his friendliness and popularity that news of his sad passing was devastating to those who knew him. John was a happy, loving family man who will be remembered fondly by all who had the honour and privilege of knowing him.”

His funeral took place at Bushbury Crematorium on April 30.

Because of the restrictions under Covid-19, colleagues were unable to attend the ceremony but a police patrol car led the funeral procession as a tribute to him for his time spent in the force.

Colleagues at the trust paid their respects with a minute’s silence across the switchboard and health records departments in his honour.