Sutton Council has said neglect by staff which led to the death of a 22-year-old from dehydration at St George's Hospital has raised the importance of saving vital services at St Helier Hospital.

In May 2009 Kane Gorny, 22, died from dehydration in St George’s after being put in a side room following an operation.

At one point, the supermarket employee who suffered from a diabetic condition which meant his kidneys were unable to conserve water, called 999 because he was so thirsty, but the police officer was turned away by hospital staff.

Last week at Westminster Coroners Court, coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe blamed a "cascade of individual failures" for his death.

She added: "Kane was undoubtedly let down by incompetence of staff, poor communication, lack of leadership, both medical and nursing, and a culture of assumption."

Following the verdict, Councillor Colin Stears, chairman of Sutton’s adult social services and health committee, said: "Sutton residents are already concerned about the prospect of having to travel all the way to Tooting in an emergency should the misguided proposal to close St Helier Hospital’s wards actually go ahead.

"This tragic death of Kane Gorny can only intensify those fears and make us all even more determined to save our local hospital."

Dr Rosalind Given-Wilson, medical director of St George’s Health Care NHS Trust, said: "We deeply regret the death of Kane Gorny and have apologised unreservedly to his family for the grief that this has caused.

"We provide safe high-quality healthcare services to over a million patients across south west London every year, but it is clear that on this occasion our services fell short of expectation in a number of respects, and for this we are profoundly sorry."