A 74-year-old retired chef died from a stroke after an operation at Salisbury District Hospital.

Robert Paul Driver suffered a stroke after spinal decompression surgery. He died on August 11, 2023.

An inquest was held on Tuesday, June 4, into his death at Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner’s Court.

Mr Driver was born in Camberwell, London, and lived in Wimborne.

He had suffered from diabetes and was an ex-smoker. These both can heighten the risk of a stroke, the inquest heard. 

On August 2, 2023, Mr Driver was given a general anaesthetic for an organised spinal surgery at New Hall Hospital.

The inquest heard that he had “never had problems with general anaesthetic” and the surgery was “uneventful, lasting 120 minutes".

Shortly after the surgery ended, Mr Driver began to show signs of a stroke, such as slurred speech and limited movement in his limbs.

Read more: What happens at an inquest and what can the press report?

He was taken in an ambulance to Salisbury District Hospital, where he was immediately given a CT scan. The scan confirmed that he had suffered a stroke.

Over the next nine days his condition fluctuated, but he was not well enough to have further surgery.

On August 11, Mr Driver died after it was decided not to proceed with further treatment and instead ensure “comfort and palliation” in the form of end-of-life care.

Coroner Ian Singleton ruled the death as death by misadventure.