A pensioner who was misdiagnosed at Whipps Cross Hospital was killed by unnecessary surgery, an inquest has ruled.

Alfred John Lee, 76, died of multiple organ failure on July 2, 2015, following an operation at the Leytonstone hospital on June 16 the same year.

Mr Lee, of Newham, had been misdiagnosed with bowel cancer and had part of his large intestine removed. An undetected leak in the wound eventually led to his death.

Assistant coroner, Ian Wade, concluded at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court this week Mr Lee would not have died if he had received appropriate treatment.

Professor John Scholefield, an independent expert in colorectal surgery, was called by the coroner to provide an opinion as to the standard of care Mr Lee received.

Professor Scholefield told the inquest if the pensioner had not been misdiagnosed, he would not have undergone the surgery that ultimately led to his death.

He also said Mr Lee should not have been discharged from hospital on June 26, while clinical indications suggested “something was wrong” and the leak in his intestine should have been detected.

Mr Lee’s family, who were represented by barrister Mamta Gupta of No5 Chambers and Louise Tyler of Wilson Browne Solicitors, were present as the coroner delivered his verdict.

His daughter, Jacqueline Cunningham, said: “We are happy with the evidence that came out at the inquest, if things had been done differently, we feel that Dad would be with us today.

“Although we understand the extreme pressures that the NHS is under, the consequences of discharging an elderly and vulnerable patient too soon are clear for all to see.

“Not only that, Dad underwent an unnecessary and costly procedure that ultimately resulted in his untimely death, and we want to ensure that this doesn’t happen to any other patient or their family.”

Since Mr Lee’s death, Barts Health Trust, which runs Whipps Cross Hospital, has introduced new measures in a bid to improve treatment of bowel cancer patients.

A spokesman for the trust said: “We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to Mr Lee’s family and apologise that his care did not meet the high standards we pride ourselves on.

“Over the last 18 months we have employed more histopathologists and placed a real emphasis on learning from when things don’t go as well as they should.”