RENOWNED consultant psychiatrist John Robinson specialised in supporting the elderly who suffered mental illness.

His commitment, and the care and support he provided to the elderly, their families and carers was extraordinary.

He travelled to every corner of the county in his Morris Minor with his doctor’s bag, examining and taking a history from each of his referrals at their own home - convinced of the importance of seeing people in context in order really to understand their problems and needs.

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John Richard Robinson was born at Green Gates in Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire, on October 17, 1927. His parents, Gladys Margaret Botterill of Tathwell Hall, Lincolnshire, and William Joseph Robinson of Bramhill House, Burton Pidsea, East Yorkshire – married in 1921 – had retired from farming in Yorkshire and moved to the Cotswolds the year before.

John was educated at home by his governess, Jessy Ward, before joining his older brother Gordon at Ushaw College, Durham, just days after their father had died in 1938.

Having decided to pursue a career in medicine, he left Ushaw to study sciences at Kingston Technical College and, following service in the RAF, read medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital, London.

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Before realising his vocation in the care of the elderly, Dr Robinson served as a hospital doctor at The Gulson in Coventry – where he met his wife, Catherine, and many other lifelong friends – and as a general practitioner in Rugby in the early days of the NHS.

He made the decision to train as a psychiatrist and, in 1965, after an initial spell at the Central Hospital in Warwick, moved to Littlemore Hospital in Oxford, where he became senior registrar to Dr Bertram Mandelbrote.

Dr Mandelbrote was pioneering new methods of mental health care in both hospital and community settings and gave Dr Robinson the opportunity to develop a service for the elderly mentally ill.

This became his specialist interest, and in 1973 his post was converted to that of consultant psychiatrist, which he held until his retirement in 1995.

As the initial consultant in what was to become an enlarged and prestigious Department of Old Age Psychiatry, he led the transformation of what was largely a hospital-based system to a more locally based service across Oxfordshire: a service closer to home.

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He and his dedicated teams played a major role in developing this modern mental health service in Oxfordshire, to the envy of many hospital authorities across the UK and abroad.

Dr Robinson was married to Catherine Josephine Ledwith of Ballymurray, Moate, County Westmeath in Ireland on September 16, 1961 at St. Joseph’s Church, Gerrards Cross by their good friend the Rev Peter Bacon.

Mrs Robinson has been struggling with dementia, caused by Alzheimer’s disease for 15 years and now lives at Rosebank Care Home in Bampton.

Saddened by the untimely loss of their daughter Nicola, Dr Robinson and his wife have three surviving children, Margaret, Shaun and Timothy, and are grandparents to Ada, Alfie, Keelan, Iona, Thomas, Catherine, Edward and Isabel.

Succumbing to cancer of the prostate, Dr Robinson died peacefully at home in Bampton, aged 92, on May 20.