Hoax call nurse ‘left note for family’Comment on this story
The nurse who apparently took her own life following the royal hoax call scandal left a note for her family, it emerged on Tuesday.
Jacintha Saldanha had not told her husband or children that she was involved in the incident, meaning the letter may provide their only clue to what prompted the respected nurse to take such a drastic and tragic step.
A post-mortem examination was held on Tuesday on the body of Saldanha, who was the first unwitting member of staff at the King Edward VII Hospital in London, where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for acute morning sickness, to take the call made by two Australian DJs pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles.
She passed them on to a second nurse on Kate’s ward, who was then duped into giving out details of her medical condition
The results of the post-mortem examination are not yet known, and an inquest is due to be opened this week.
Family spokesman, Labour MP Keith Vaz, said on Tuesday that Saldanha’s family were demanding answers from the hospital about the circumstances that led to her death.
Although bosses at the hospital in Marylebone have said they will conduct internal inquiries, the nurse’s family - husband Ben Barboza, 49, and children Junal, 17, and Lisha, 14 - “want to know everything”.
Vaz, who has met hospital chairman Lord Glenarthur to demand a full inquiry, said: “What the chairman of the hospital said to me was that there are inquiries going on in the hospital. That is not sufficient for the family. There are unexplained circumstances. The family want to know everything. All the facts, fully and clearly.”
Vaz added: “The hospital needs to be more pro-active, a full inquiry is needed and the family need to be included in that. They are a lovely close-knit family, a Catholic family who will be spending their first Christmas without their mother, and for Ben, without his wife.”
Barboza, an NHS accountant, and his children live in Bristol. Saldanha, whose body was found in the hospital’s staff accommodation she used during the week, returned to the family home at weekends.
She had been expected home as usual last Friday when police broke the news of her death.
Vaz said: “They [the family] were in the dark about the hoax call. They hadn’t watched the news or seen anything about it. They didn’t know they were involved until after Jacintha’s death.”
Bosses at the Australian radio station, 2Day FM, have also been under pressure to explain why they gave the go-ahead for the prank. The company which owns the station, Southern Cross Austereo, on Tuesday cancelled its staff Christmas party and said it would donate the rest of the year’s advertising revenue - about £320 000 - to a memorial fund set up in Saldanha’s name by the hospital.
Chief executive Rhys Holleran said: “We hope ...we can help to provide the Saldanha family with the support they need at this very difficult time.”
The hospital said it would “welcome” the gesture.
Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday described Saldanha’s death as “an absolute tragedy”.
He 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.”
A St James’s Palace spokesman stressed it did not complain about the hoax call, saying: “On the contrary, we offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses and hospital staff.” - Daily Mail