A nurse at the London hospital that treated Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has committed suicide — two days after being duped by a hoax call from an Australian radio station.
Mother-of-two Jacintha Saldanha, who worked at the Edward VII hospital in Central London, was found dead this morning at an address in Central London.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said:
“Police were called at approximately 9.35am this morning to a report of a woman found unconscious at an address in Weymouth Street, W1.
“London Ambulance Service attended and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Inquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances of the incident.”
Saldanha, a nurse of four year’s standing at the Edward VII hospital, was the first one to speak to two Australian DJ’s from 2Day FM who impersonated the Queen and Charles, Prince of Wales on Tuesday.
Even though Saldanha did not actually divulge details about Kate Middleton’s morning sickness to the DJ’s — Mel Greig and Michael Christian — she did transfer the call to the ward where Kate was being treated.
After Saldanha’s body was found, emergency services were called and two ambulances were despatched to the central London residence.
The King Edward VII hospital, who have said they had been “supporting” Saldanha and the other nurse involved in the incident and had not disciplined the pair, has released a statement, saying:
“It is with very deep sadness that we confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha.”
The statement continued:
“Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VII Hospital for more than four years. She was an excellent nurse and well respected and popular with all over 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 VII’s Hospital, subsequently added:
“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.”
The two radio DJ’s from 2Day FM have continued to boast about the “easiest prank call ever made” on a website and Twitter since their Tuesday hoax call.
St James’s Palace has released a statement from Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge saying:
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha.”
The Royal couple also sent “thoughts and prayers” to the family, friends, and colleagues of Saldanha and said they had been looked after “so wonderfully well at all times” by staff at the Edward VII hospital.