The devastated family of a man, who died because staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich failed to treat him properly, has received a settlement of over £4 million.

The seven-figure payout has been approved by the High Court of Justice after the South London Healthcare Trust, which was responsible for his care, admitted liability for his death.

The South London Healthcare Trust was dissolved in October 2013 when the running of the hospital was taken over by the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust.

In 2011, a previously healthy 34-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, collapsed following a sudden onset of severe abdominal pain and nausea.

He was taken to QE hospital by ambulance where he was diagnosed with pancreatitis, but staff failed to give him adequate treatment, including fluids and analgesia.

After staff failed to monitor his condition correctly he experienced periods of hypovolaemia, a shock condition that means the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood around the body.

Concerned about his deteriorating condition, his family attempted to transfer him to a private hospital but this was delayed by the staff.

By the time he was transferred to the Princess Royal Hospital, received fluids and was provided with appropriate treatment, it was too late and, despite the efforts of the staff at the PRUH and St Thomas’ Hospital where he was subsequently transferred to, he died on February 9, 2011.

An internal investigation into the treatment he received at the Queen Elizabeth found there were failures in his care and there should have been closer liaison between the two hospitals when a transfer was being arranged.

Compensation recovered for his family includes a substantial award for their dependency on his lost earnings to help to provide for their future, and in particular the future of his young daughter.

After the family turned to Irwin Mitchell for help, South London Healthcare Trust admitted liability for the man’s death and accepted that, on the balance of probabilities, with the patient would have survived and made a full recovery with the appropriate treatment.

Marcos Eleftheriou, a specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: “This was a tragic death that could and should have been avoided. The NHS Trust found that with the correct treatment he would have survived.

“Sadly, he was not provided with suitable treatment and tragically passed away, leaving behind his wife and young daughter.

“It has been an incredibly difficult few years for the family and they continue to struggle to come to terms with the impact of his death.

“While no amount of money will change what happened, the family is thankful that the trust’s investigations identified a number of failings in care, which they hope will now have been corrected so other families do not endure the same heartache in the future.”

A spokeswoman for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, which is now responsible for the QE Hospital, said: "Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust is pleased that a settlement has been reached and approved by the Court. 

"However, we cannot comment on the case in detail as it happened at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in 2011, before we took over operational responsibility of the hospital (in October 2013).

"The patient was treated at QEH when it formed part of the South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which no longer exists.

"The case was investigated as a serious incident in 2011 by South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT). 

"There was a full admission of liability provided in the claim and the family received an apology from SLHT."