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General view of King Edward VII Hospital in central London.
General view of King Edward VII Hospital in central London.
Image: Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

Update: Royal hoax presenters suspended following death of nurse

Today the hospital said it had been supporting the woman after a hoax call from the Australian radio station.
Dec 7th 2012, 6:55 PM 52,417 183

THE TWO AUSTRALIAN radio presenters who prank called a nurse at the hospital that treated the Duchess of Cambridge will not return “until further notice”, the station has said.

The nurse, named by the hospital today as  Jacintha Saldanha was found dead at an address near the King Edward VII Hospital in London earlier this morning.

In a statement, the hospital confirmed she had been the victim of a hoax call to the hospital.

On Wednesday, the presenters from Sydney’s 2Day FM station posing as Queen Elizabeth II and William’s father Prince Charles, got through to a nurse who gave an update on the Dutchess’s status.

“We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital,” the hospital said in a statement. “The hospital had been supporting her throughout this difficult time.”

On Facebook, 2Day FM and Southern Cross Austereo said “SCA and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy.”

John Lofthouse, Chief Executive at King Edward VII’s Hospital described the nurse’s death as 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.”

Commenting on the nurse’s death, St James’ Palace said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are “deeply saddened” by the news.

“Both their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well by everyone at King Edward VII’s Hospital. Their thoughts and prayers with her family, friends and colleagues at this hard time.”

After the furore over the hoax call, yesterday the two radio presenters apologised saying they were sorry for any issues caused and were glad to hear the Dutchess was doing well.

- Additional reporting from AFP.

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Michelle Hennessy

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