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Nurse at centre of Duchess hoax call found dead


A nurse working on reception at the private hospital which treated the Duchess of Cambridge when a hoax call was made by an Australian radio station has been found dead.

Jacintha Saldanha, who had worked at the King Edward VII hospital in London for four years, was pronounced dead at an address near the hospital at 9.25am on Friday morning.

She was working on reception at the hospital, where the Duchess spent three nights being treated for acute morning sickness, when she took the initial call from the radio station 2Day FM, before putting the call through to a nurse on the ward.

The call lasted approximately two minutes.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said in a statement they were deeply saddened by her death.

In a statement King Edward VII’s Hospital described Ms Saldanha as an “excellent nurse and well-respected and popular with all of her colleagues”.

It added: “We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital had been supporting her throughout this difficult time.”

John Lofthouse, hospital chief executive said: “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time are with her family and friends. Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much loved and valued colleague.”

Hospital chair Lord Glenarthur added: “This is a tragic event. Jacintha was a first class nurse who cared diligently for hundreds of patients during her time with us. She will be greatly missed.”

Police said the cause of her death was “unexplained” but they were not treating it as suspicious.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called at approximately 9.25am on Friday, 7 December, to a report of a woman found unconscious an address in Weymouth Street.

“London Ambulance Service attended and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Inquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances of the incident. The death is not being treated as suspicious at this stage.”


Readers' comments (73)

  • Deepest sympathy to this nurse family and friends

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  • My thoughts are with her family and friends

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  • what a dreadful tragedy and a waste and devastating loss to her family, friends, patients, colleagues and the nursing profession.

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  • a hoax with very serious consequences which also questions the professionalism and public duty and responsibilities of the media.

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  • This is a call for these infantile idiots to be sacked.

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  • Maybe now we can stop being told nurses aren't compassionate and don't care for their patients, this nurse obviously cared deeply and the hoax call had a great effect on her, so much so it lead to these tragic consequences.

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  • the results of such a stupid and childish hoax are truly shocking. hopefully the perpetrators will be given plenty of opportunity to reflect on their actions.

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  • Why did she commit suicide exactly?

    I think questions need to be asked about the threat or fear of disciplinary procedures against nurses at her place? She must have been terrified of something!

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  • Hear hear. (Anonymous 7-Dec-2012 6:48 pm). I really feel for this poor nurse. She must have felt totally ridiculed by these idiots. I hope the hoaxers feel suitably ashamed of themselves.

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  • Tinkerbell

    So terribly sad. RIP Jacintha. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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