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Hospital didn't OK prank call broadcast

2012-12-11 07:20
London - The London hospital that treated Prince William's pregnant wife Catherine said on Monday that the Australian radio station behind a prank call did not check with them before the hoax was broadcast.

The Sydney station said it had tried to contact King Edward VII's Hospital five times to discuss the prank call conducted last week with two nurses, one of whom, Jacintha Saldanha, was found dead on Friday in a suspected suicide.

But a hospital spokesperson said: "Following the hoax call, the station did not talk to anyone in hospital senior management or anyone at the company that handles our media inquiries."

Shocked, devastated

The 2Day FM hosts who made the call, in which they obtained details of Kate's acute morning sickness by pretending to be Queen Elizabeth II and William's father Prince Charles, spoke on Monday of their shock at Saldanha's death.

Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who have been in hiding and undergoing counselling since their hoax sparked global outrage, said they were devastated.

Saldanha, a mother of two originally from southern India, was found dead in nurses' accommodation near the hospital on Friday.

She had picked up the prank call and put it through to another nurse, who revealed details of Kate's condition.

A post-mortem examination will take place on Tuesday at Westminster Mortuary in central London, a police spokesperson said.

Inquiry needed

Keith Vaz, a lawmaker for Britain's opposition Labour Party who visited Saldanha's family in Bristol, southwest England, on Sunday, said the hospital must investigate the events that led to the nurse's death.

"What is needed, clearly, is an inquiry by the hospital into what has happened," he told BBC radio.

Vaz, whose family comes from India, added that the family were in "terrible distress" and said they needed more support from the hospital.

"The hospital has sent them a letter, which I have seen, but I'm a little surprised that nobody has made the journey to Bristol to sit with them and offer them the counselling that I think they need," he said.

He added: "More support, in my view, needs to be given."


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