Post-mortem due to take place on Duchess of Cambridge nurse Jacintha Saldanha

 

A post-mortem examination is due to be held today on the nurse who apparently took her own life after she was duped by a hoax call made to the hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge.

Tributes have been paid to Jacintha Saldanha, who died in a suspected suicide on Friday after she was fooled by two Australian radio hosts making a prank call to the King Edward VII's Hospital in London.

The hospital worker transferred the presenters, believing they were the Queen and the Prince of Wales, to a colleague who described in detail the condition of Kate during her treatment for severe pregnancy sickness last Tuesday.

Ms Saldanha, 46, from Bristol, was found dead three days later in a block of nurses' flats close to the hospital.

MP Keith Vaz met the nurse's family in Parliament last night and said they had been left "devastated" by the loss of a "loving mother and a loving wife".

The family also visited the King Edward VII's Hospital, while a memorial service will be held later this week.

Flanked by Ms Saldanha's husband Benedict Barboza and her two teenage children, Mr Vaz said: "They just want me to say that they are extremely grateful to the public here in the United Kingdom and throughout the world who have sent them messages of condolences and support following the death of Jacintha - a loving mother and a loving wife.

"This is a close family. They are devastated by what has happened. They miss her every moment of every day but they are really grateful to the support of the British public and to the public overseas for the messages of support and kindness."

The nurse's brother Naveen told the Daily Mail his sister was a devout Roman Catholic and would have been "devastated" by her unwitting role in the breach of medical confidentiality.

Mr Vaz has called for the hospital to provide the family with more support and to hold an inquiry.

His criticism came after the two Australian DJs behind the hoax call - Mel Greig and Michael Christian - gave an emotional account of their reaction to the nurse's death.

Interviewed on Australian TV networks, the 2Day FM presenters said their prank call to the hospital had "a tragic turn of events no-one could have predicted or expected".

A tearful Greig, who was at times comforted by Christian, told Today Tonight on Australia's Channel Seven: "There's nothing that can make me feel worse than what I feel right now. And for what I feel for the family.

"We're so sorry that this has happened to them."

Prime Minister David Cameron also described Ms Saldanha's death as "an absolute tragedy".

Asked about the incident at a Westminster lunch, Mr Cameron said: "I feel incredibly sorry for her and her family. It is an absolute tragedy that this has happened and I am sure everyone will want to reflect on how it was allowed to happen."

In response to Mr Vaz's criticism the hospital said its chief executive John Lofthouse had spoken to the nurse's husband on Friday by phone and offered to meet him whenever he wanted.

The hospital has also established a memorial fund in the nurse's name to provide financial support for her family and made the first donation to the fund.

In a statement Southern Cross Austereo, the parent company of 2Day FM, said it had suspended advertising on the Sydney radio station until further notice, ended Greig and Christian's Hot 30 show and suspended prank calls across the company.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority, which regulates radio broadcasting, confirmed it had received complaints from all around the world, and said it was considering whether it should launch an investigation into whether the presenters breached the Commercial Radio Code of Practice.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have sent their condolences to Ms Saldanha's family.

The nurse is originally from Mangalore in south-west India, according to reports and her teenage children are said to be daughter Lisha, 14, and son Junal, 16.

A St James's Palace spokesman stressed that they had not complained to the hospital about the hoax call, saying: "On the contrary, we offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses involved and hospital staff at all times."

Greig and Christian are said to be receiving "intensive psychological counselling" to deal with the tragedy.

Police in London have contacted their Australian counterparts with a view to interviewing the two DJs ahead of an inquest into Ms Saldanha's death.

Scotland Yard said a post-mortem examination would be held at Westminster Mortuary and it was likely an inquest would be opened and adjourned at Westminster Coroner's Court later this week.

The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Southern Cross Austereo has cancelled its Christmas party later this week following the death of Ms Saldanha.

A spokeswoman for the company said it would be "inappropriate" to go ahead with the Sydney staff Christmas party.

Instead, money which would have been spent on the event will go to charity, she added.

Voices
voices
News
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
newsBumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, it is claimed
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
newsHad asteroid hit earlier or later in history, the creatures might have survived, say scientists
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

year 5 teacher

£21000 - £32000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to wo...

Supply Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a b...

Supply Teacher - Chelmsford

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We urgently require Primar...

Year 5 Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to wo...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried