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Nurse's hospital protests over royal hoax

Speculation rife that nurse died due to stress from radio station's call

  • Nurse Jacintha Saldanha is seen in this undated handout photograph released by the Metropolitan Police in LondImage Credit: Reuters
  • In this December 6, 2012 file photo, Britain's Prince William stand next to his wife Kate, Duchess of CambImage Credit: AP
  • A nurse approaches a coroners van outside an nurse accommodation block near the King Edward VII hospital in ceImage Credit: AFP

London: The British hospital that fell victim to a prank call from two Australian DJs asking questions about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge condemned the hoax on Saturday, ratcheting up the pressure on their radio station a day after the nurse who took the call was found dead.

Lord Glenarthur, the chairman of King Edward VII’s Hospital, wrote the chairman of the radio station’s owner to urge him not to let such a thing happen again. The consequence of the prank for "was the humiliation of two dedicated and caring nurses who were simply doing their job tending to their patients," he wrote.

"The longer term consequence has been reported around the world and is, frankly, tragic beyond words."

Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found dead early Friday at nurses’ housing provided by London’s King Edward VII hospital, where Prince William’s wife, Kate Middleton, was being treated for acute morning sickness.

Police released a grainy photo of Saldanha yesterday. A native of India, she had lived in Bristol in southwestern England with her family for the past nine years, Scotland Yard confirmed. Police said her death is being treated as "unexplained," though they said they didn’t find anything suspicious. Police have made no connection between her death and the prank call, but people from London to Sydney have been making the assumption that she died because of stress from the call.

In a statement, Saldanha’s family said they were "deeply saddened" by the death and asked for privacy.

Saldanha had worked for four years at the hospital. She took the hoax call on Tuesday by the two DJs from 2DayFM, and transferred the call to the nurse caring for the duchess. During the call, a woman using the often-mimicked voice of Britain’s monarch asked about the duchess’ health.



Latest Comment

It was NOT a prank call - it was a real attempt to get access tosomeones personal and private information - otherwise the radio DJ'sshould have announced it was a prank call but instead they persued fordetails about the condition of the Duchess. Therefore this contemptuousand dispicable action ; sanctioned by the management of the radiostation has presumably been the motive of Nurse Jacintha taking her lifein what is an awful turn of events which should sadden everyone of usand should be a lesson to all presenters. I hate to think that the griefbeing suffered by the Duchess Of Cambridge over this incident compoundedwith her morning sickness should have an adverse affect on herpregnancy. Not withstanding - ALL those at the Radio Station involved inthis matter should never be licensed to operate nor be permitted to goon the airwaves EVER again. Sincere condolences to the nurse's husbandchildren family and friends.

David Woodward

9 December 2012 16:58jump to comments