Heartfelt tributes have been paid to Wirral University Teaching Hospital staff nurse, Julie Anna Penfold, who sadly passed away as a result of COVID-19.

Known to her friends as Jules, she was aged 53 and was a well-loved member of staff. She had been on a career break resulting from health issues around 18 months ago.

Julie (pictured above), who had underlying health conditions, was a patient at Arrowe Park Hospital when she died.

She joined the Trust in 2003, starting out as a Health Care Assistant in Outpatients at Arrowe Park. After training to become a nurse she was based on Ward 36, before moving to Wirral Community Trust for three years.

She returned to WUTH and was based on Ward 25 then latterly returned to Outpatients at Arrowe Park where she was also a mentor to trainee nurses and doctors.

Wirral Globe: Julie Penfold was a staff nurse at Arrowe Park HospitalJulie Penfold was a staff nurse at Arrowe Park Hospital

Her husband Nick Penfold, aged 57, said how much she loved her job.

He said: “She was so dedicated to her job. She loved her job. When she was at school, all she ever talked about was being a nurse.

“She was lovely and never had a bad word to say about anybody and nothing was too much trouble for her. She was always checking on other people and looked after everyone.

“As a mentor she loved training the younger ones and supported a lot of doctors. She was really well-loved.

“I was really proud of her. She was an exceptional woman.”

Julie was a mother figure to many with two daughters, a son, an adopted daughter, two step-daughters and 11 grandchildren; and the couple had also fostered more than 20 children. She also had a son and daughter who sadly passed away.

With her husband, she would have celebrated 25 years of marriage this year and they had been together for 30 years. For the past 20 years they had spent each Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day at their favourite hotel in North Wales.

Nick said: “She was just a beautiful woman and everything I lived for. Her death was just such a shock.”

A book of condolence is being set up in the Chapel at Arrowe Park Hospital for colleagues who wish to pay tribute to Julie and there will also be an in memoriam photograph placed in Outpatients where she worked.

The Trust is planning a minute’s silence and details for that will be announced shortly.

Janelle Holmes, Chief Executive of Wirral University Teaching Hospital, also paid tribute to Julie and said: “Words cannot express how saddened we all are to lose a member of our own team to COVID-19.

"This is truly devastating and my thoughts and sympathy are with Julie’s family at this time. She was a valued member of staff who cared so much about others.

"I know many colleagues will want to pay their own respects and a book of condolence has been set up for staff to sign and recount their memories of their colleague Jules, which we will pass on to her family.

“We know that events like deaths from COVID -19 have a deep impact, especially when the person is known to us.  We are here to support staff and there is a lot of emotional and counselling support available via our Health and Wellbeing hubs, both at Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge, for those who feel they may need to talk to someone.”

Many tributes have been left on social media and on a Go Fund Me page that has been set up in Julie’s memory for anyone who would like to contribute.

To do so, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/julies-fundraiser?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1