Woman is understood to be the first person heard during the hoax call from presenters pretending to be the Queen
The nurse who took a prank phone call at the Duchess of Cambridgeâ€™s hospital has been found dead in a suspected suicide.
The woman took the call from two Australian radio presenters on Tuesday morning and, believing she was speaking with the Queen, passed them on to a colleague who revealed private information about the Duchessâ€™ condition.
The woman’s unconscious body was found just yards from the King Edward VII Hospital earlier this morning.
An ambulance was called and paramedics made desperate efforts to revive her but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The nurse is understood to be the first person to be heard during the call from two presenters at the Australian radio station 2Day FM.
She was first reported to have been a receptionist but is now understood to have been a nurse staffing the switchboard.
The woman transferred the hoaxers to a second nurse in the hospital, who gave them an update on her condition, saying the Duchess had had â€œan uneventful nightâ€ and revealing detailed information on her acute morning sickness.
The Duchess was released from hospital yesterday, but the intrusive call, which has been shared across the internet, has provoked global outrage.
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge were reported to be angry, although Prince Charles yesterday made light of the situation, asking reporters â€œhow do you know Iâ€™m not a radio stationâ€.
Scotland Yard said: â€Police were called at about 9.35am on Friday December 7 to reports of a woman found unconscious at an address in Weymouth Street, W1.
â€œThe London Ambulance service attended and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Inquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances of the incidentâ€¦The death is being treated as unexplained.â€
Sources say the death is not being treated as suspicious.
During the call, the female nurse who has been found dead answered the phone saying: â€œHello, good morning, King Edward VII Hospital.â€
2Day FM presenter, Mel Greig, who was impersonating the Queen replied: â€œOh, hello there. Could I please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter?â€
The woman answered: â€œOh yes, just hold on maâ€™am.â€
The two hoaxers, Greig and Michael Christian, were put through to a second nurse who told them: â€œShe’s sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night. She’s been given some fluids, she’s stable at the moment.â€
The Sydney based radio station later apologised for the prank.
The stunt was seen as deeply embarrassing for the King Edward VII Hospital, which is the medical institution of choice for the Royal Family.
It led people to take to Twitter and social networking sites voicing their disbelief.
After the incident earlier this week John Lofthouse, chief executive at the King Edward VII Hospital, said: â€œThis was a foolish prank call that we all deplore. We take patient confidentiality extremely seriously and we are now reviewing our telephone protocols.â€
King Edward VII hospital spoke of the their shock at the death of Jacintha Saldanha in a statement:
‘It is with very deep sadness that we confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha.
‘Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VIIâ€™s Hospital for more than four years. She was an excellent nurse and well-respected and popular with all of her colleagues.
‘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, Chief Executive at King Edward VIIâ€™s Hospital, 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.”
Lord Glenarthur, Chairman of King Edward VIIâ€™s Hospital, says, ‘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.’
Nurse who took prank phone call at Duchess of Cambridge’s hospital is found dead in suspected suicide
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