A man who died weeks after a routine surgery at Queen's Hospital in Romford could have been saved, a watchdog has said.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) found that the patient, in his 40s, suffered a fatal blood clot that was missed by doctors.

It happened just weeks after undergoing knee surgery there.

His older sister said: “I just miss him so much. I don’t think we will ever get over losing him, especially knowing that it didn’t need to be this way."

A spokesperson for PHSO said it found that doctors failed to carry out a test for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that would have detected the clot, despite noting that it was a risk following the surgery.

It came after the man, a long-serving postman, injured his knee playing football with colleagues.

Four days later, the spokesperson said, the man went to A&E at Queen’s and had the routine surgery.

After the operation, the ombudsman found he was struggling to walk and had “a lot of pain in his leg”.

Two weeks later, he had to be taken back to A&E where a doctor questioned whether he might have DVT.

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An X-ray and blood tests were carried out by the hospital but no tests for DVT were done and the man was sent home, the ombudsman said.

Two weeks after this, the man had “tightness in his chest” and fainted, they added. His family called an ambulance but his heart stopped while on the way to the hospital, where he died.

The ombudsman said that doctors at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), that runs Queen’s, went against national guidance by not carrying out the relevant tests to rule out DVT.

They concluded that his death was “avoidable” if tests had happened and DVT had been treated.

It recommended that the trust write to the man’s family to acknowledge its failings and apologise.

BHRUT was also ordered to create an action plan to prevent it happening again, and pay the family £15,000.

Rob Behrens, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, said: “This is a tragedy that should have been avoided.

"A fit and healthy man lost his life because doctors failed to carry out the correct tests.

“When mistakes like this are made it is vital that they are learned from so they do not happen again."

The man left behind his father, brother and two sisters.

His older sister said he was a “lovely person” and “her rock”. As a postman, she said he knew everybody and was “very well-liked”.

She added: “At his funeral people lined the streets to say goodbye and so many people told us about ways he had helped them while on his rounds.

“He would help people who couldn’t walk very well or who were poorly, that’s the kind of man he was."

BHRUT said the trust is “very sorry” and is “determined to learn from avoidable deaths”. It is “improving the way they respond to cases of DVT", a spokesperson added.

“We’ve made our assessment tool more comprehensive and all patient with plaster casts on their lower limbs are checked for DVT at their fracture clinic appointments.”