A COLONEL who had just retired from the Army died at 56 after being admitted to hospital for a routine operation.

Rupert Robson, a former Royal Artillery officer and defence attaché at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi, was admitted to Salisbury District Hospital on August 11, 2016, for surgery to remove a kidney stone.

He died on September 12, a month after the operation he had feared.

Colonel Robson’s wife Alison said: “We have lost a very special man far too soon. He was kind, loving, caring and just so unselfish.”

She added: “He was a fantastic father and husband and this shouldn’t have happened.”

Salisbury Coroner’s Court heard on Tuesday that Colonel Robson was concerned about who would look after his family if he died, but it was agreed to go ahead with the operation.

The inquest heard that kit failings started at the beginning of the surgery as Dr Jonathan Annis and surgeon Mohammed El Saghir began to insert the dilators. The set was incomplete but the doctors opted to continue.

They discovered that Colonel Robson had suffered a 2.3cm tear in his renal pelvis but this was deemed normal. As the operation continued the ultrasound probe used to break down the kidney stone broke and a replacement was not available.

In a serious incident report, urologist Simon Bott said a second probe should have been available “at all times”.

But Mr El Saghir said it was common for this to occur in this type of operation and that a laser was used instead to break down the stone.

Colonel Robson’s blood pressure dropped during surgery but no excessive bleeding was found and it was not deemed serious enough to stop the operation.

At the end of the procedure, fluid was found in his abdomen. In the days after the operation Colonel Robson suffered a haemorrhage. Doctors removed his kidney but he deteriorated and after talks with his family it was decided to remove life support. He was pronounced dead at 5.10am.

The court heard Mr El Saghir had not carried out the procedure in 18 months before the operation and is now no longer involved in this kind of surgery after being “traumatised by the whole episode”.

Colonel Robson was made an OBE in 2014 for his distinguished military career and outstanding contribution to relations between the UK and UAE. Assistant coroner Claire Balysz will concluded the inquest on October 25.