The family of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who was found dead after taking a hoax call about the Duchess of Cambridge, have thanked people for their support and messages of condolence.
Speaking on their behalf, Keith Vaz MP described Mrs Saldanha as 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,” he said, as he stood beside Mrs Saldanha’s husband Benedict Barboza and her two teenage children.
“They are really grateful for the support of the British public and the public overseas for the messages of support and kindness,” he added.
The post-mortem for the nurse, who put through a hoax call made about the duchess’ medical condition, will take place later.
Mrs Saldanha took the initial call from Australian DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian who posed as the Queen and the Prince of Wales when they rang the hospital where Kate was being treated for acute morning sickness.
Believing it to be genuine, she put the call through to another colleague who was duped into describing the duchess’ condition in detail.
Mrs Saldanha was found dead days later, having apparently taken her own life.
Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of his “shock” at Mrs Saldanha’s death.
He said: “I thought it was completely shocking … I heard about the suicide of this nurse, who worked incredibly hard and obviously was incredibly dedicated.
“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.”
It comes after the boss of Sydney radio station 2Day FM said five attempts were made to contact London’s King Edward VII’s Hospital about the prank call before it aired.
“Following the hoax call, the radio station did not speak to anyone in the hospital’s senior management or anyone at the company who handles our media enquiries,” a hospital spokesman said.
Earlier, Rhys Holleran – head of the station’s parent company Southern Cross Austereo – said he was satisfied that the appropriate checks were carried out before the pre-recorded segment was broadcast.
“It is absolutely true to say that we actually did attempt to contact those people on multiple occasions,” he told Fairfax Radio, an Australian broadcaster.
“We rang them up to discuss what we had recorded … we attempted to contact them on no less than five occasions … we wanted to speak to them about it.”
Britain’s Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has told Sky News the nurse’s response to the prank call does not point to a widespread breach of procedure.
Asked what lessons needed to be learned, he said: “I think we need to make sure that the right safeguards are in place, that the right training is in place, but I think it’s too early for me to say whether this is something which is just an individual prank that went horribly wrong and it was an isolated breach or whether there are more widespread issues.
“My instinct is that this was an isolated incident with very exceptional circumstances.”
Labour MP Mr Vaz, who visited Mrs Saldanha’s family in Bristol on Sunday, has called on the hospital to hold an inquiry and provide more support to the relatives.
“What is needed, clearly, is an inquiry by the hospital into what has happened.
“The hospital has sent them a letter, which I have seen, but I’m 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 the family was in “terrible distress”, adding: “More support in my view needs to be given.”
King Edward VII’s Hospital has announced the launch of the Jacintha Saldanha Memorial Fund.
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Article source: http://news.sky.com/story/1023320