A FATHER of two died after becoming “withdrawn into his surroundings” during the pandemic, an inquest has heard.

Robert Hawkins Jones, aged 79 from Tadley, died on October 28 last year after sustaining injuries from a fall at home.

At an inquest today (July 19), Winchester Coroner's Court heard that the former IT analysist had lived independently in a house with stairs until the pandemic hit, when he began to rely on neighbours to collect his shopping and medication.

Coroner Rosamund Rhodes Kemp read out a statement written by Robert’s two daughters, which stated in the months before his death the “lack of contact” with people during the pandemic saw his confidence decrease.

His daughters explained that he had become “withdrawn into his surroundings” and his and fitness abilities were impacted by no longer being able to go to the gym each day.

On the morning of October 16, Robert had a fall in his home but did not ring for an ambulance until the day after, when his symptoms had worsened.

After paramedics attended they took him to Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospital where a CT scan showed he had sustained several stable spine fractures and he was admitted into the care of the orthopaedics team.

One of Roberts daughters, Bo Jones, lives in Belgium, she found her fathers stay in hospital particularly hard as the hospital would not accept calls from foreign numbers.

The coroner added: “Hospitals at this time were at peak of lack of communication because they were so stretched.”

After spending several days in hospital, just as Mr Jones was about to be discharged, he began to vomit and was kept in for further observations.

Doctors later discovered he had a bowl obstruction, something coroner Rhodes Kemp said “is not surprising” given he had a spinal fracture.

After initially improving with treatment Robert’s condition dramatically deteriorated after he suffered a bowl perforation and went into cardiac arrest.

Sadly, Mr Jones passed away in hospital on October 28, 2020.

The direct cause of death was ruled as multiple organ failure with fall, fracture and heart disease also noted as contributing factors.

Coroner Rhodes Kemp ended the inquest by saying: “The conclusion is, that what set this sorry train of events off, was an accident.”

She extended her sympathies to Robert’s two daughters who were not able to be with their father during his time in hospital due to Covid restrictions adding: “I think it was a dreadful time to loose anyone.”