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."


  • Wayne - 2012-12-11 07:49

    Ag please. This is just childish. if you commit suicide, its your own fault and no one else's.

  • saleem.khan.5688 - 2012-12-11 07:58


  • juannepierre - 2012-12-11 08:12

    I'm still struggling to see what exactly was the reason to commit suicide?

  • richard.zanner - 2012-12-11 08:20

    I thought it was pretty funny and no person could have foreseen this tragedy. Whilst the presenters seem to be getting the full brunt of the blame I think the station should be getting it. After all the prank was recorded and not live and the station chose to broadcast it.

  • kevin.nicklin - 2012-12-11 08:26

    The hospital has confirmed that no attempt was made by the radio station to obtain their permission to air the prank. I find it disgusting that people can do such a thing firstly and then lie about it afterwards. The nurses response is however too drastic and I suspect there is going to be more developments about the underlying reasons in her decision. Am sure all will be revealed sooner than later.

  • christine.frenchtaylor - 2012-12-11 08:34

    Prank phone calls, particularly those conducted by a radio 'personality' in Gauteng, are just another form of bullying and thus should be denigrated, not encouraged. As for not understanding why such a call should result in suicide, it may be because of cultural diffences, or because of humiliation. Walk a mile in her shoes, before you condemn her actions. Condolences to the family.

  • ponkie.diel.9 - 2012-12-11 08:35

    Every month I also want to commit suicide, when I see my payslip, where should I go for counseling ?

      Robsschele - 2012-12-12 13:23

      Study and find yourself a job with a better pay. With a name like yours you could keep the cougars happy. Some of them got lots of money and no brains.

  • wonky.donky.589 - 2012-12-11 08:50

    PART 2 What p1sses me off about this is that people are blaming the DJs like they're solely culpable and directly responsible for Jacintha Saldanha's death. The cowards who are blaming the DJs conveniently ignore all the other actors on stage for this tragedy. The blame starts and stops with the DJs—whose lives and careers are ruined due to this woman's selfish act. The only way the DJs would be responsible for her death is if they knew that she would kill herself before the call, and called her anyway with the intent of causing her suicide. So in other words, if the DJs were time travelers. The DJs aren't to blame any more than Alexander Graham Bell or Alan Turing for the computational foundation of modern computing that allowed the DJs to upload their video to YouTube. If Turing had intentionally created this foundation with the express purpose of ruining this woman's life, then I will back down from my position. But until there's evidence of Turing's involvement, anyone who impugns the DJs for this tragedy is an idiot and a coward.

      Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-11 09:12

      Well said wonky.donky.589 This knee-jerk witch-hunt is utter nonsense. I'm sure the hospital is loving the fact that they can look like the morally righteous institution while they are the ones who set these nurses up to fail. The suicide was not reasonably foreseeable at all, however tabloids calling and trying to get through to the wards, now that IS foreseeable. Clearly the hospital did not have suitable controls in place. The issue of the prank call being broadcast without permission is something the radio station must explain, but it must be separated from the suicide entirely and any association between the two is completely fallacious.

  • alananthonygreen - 2012-12-11 13:02

    Agreed. I love prank calls.

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