AN ACCLAIMED author and academic died, surrounded by his family, after falling at hospital, an inquest heard.

Gordon Wynne Roderick died on March 8, aged 90, after falling at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

He was an academic and lectured in cosmology and atomic physics as well as having books published on history and education.

An inquest in Winchester on October 6 was told that Mr Roderick lived in Llantwit Major, South Glamorgan, but had moved to live with his son, Paul, after his wife, Jean, had a stroke in February. He also suffered from a decline in mobility and cognitive health.

He was admitted to Winchester hospital on March 2 after his INR levels had increased. He had a history of heart failure.

Senior coroner Christopher Wilkinson explained that Mr Roderick was also having cognitive difficulties and was dehydrated when he was admitted to hospital.

Just two days later, Mr Roderick fell on the ward.

Tracey Leddington, clinical matron on the ward where Mr Roderick was being treated, said: “At 23.45, a loud bang was heard in the bay and Mr Roderick was found lying on the floor, approximately one metre from his bed having fallen.

“He was able to move all four limbs but was unable to respond to commands or form sentences.

“Up until the time of the fall Mr Roderick had remained bedbound with no attempts to get out of bed, it was therefore concluded that this was an unpreventable fall.”

Ms Leddington concluded by saying that an investigation had found that the use of bed rails had been highlighted as a learning point throughout the trust.

The hearing was told that Mr Roderick suffered a 3cm laceration to the back of the head.

Mr Wilkinson’s concluded the death was accidental, adding: “Mr Roderick enjoyed a long and illustrious academic career, he had been a distinguished historian and co-wrote many books. After retiring from academic life, he contributed further to charity work. He had a large and supportive family, and was brought recently to live with his son in relation to his increasing care needs. We suspect their was an element of Parkinson’s, cognitive decline and maybe early onset dementia.

“When he was admitted to hospital, it was identified that his heart failure was still there. We now know that at 23.45 on the evening of March 4 he had a fall on the ward and over the next few days he continued to decline and died on March 8 with his family present.”