Kate hoax: David Cameron pays tribute to Jacintha Saldanha
- 12 December 2012
- From the section UK
The Prime Minister has said "lessons need to be learnt" after the death of a hospital nurse who took a hoax call on the Duchess of Cambridge's treatment.
David Cameron called Jacintha Saldanha's death "a complete tragedy" during Prime Minister's Questions.
The nurse was found dead on Friday, three days after taking the hoax call from two Australian radio station DJs.
She transferred the call to a colleague who gave information about the condition of the pregnant duchess.
Mr Cameron told the House of Commons: "I'm sure the whole House and indeed the whole country will join me in paying tribute to this nurse and giving all our sympathies and condolences to her family.
"She clearly loved her job, loved her work and cared deeply about the health of her patients and what has happened is a complete tragedy.
"There will be many lessons that need to be learnt."
He also urged the press to keep their distance to allow Mrs Saldanha's family the time and space to grieve.
Mrs Saldanha answered the call from Sydney broadcaster 2Day FM in the early hours of the morning on 4 December and, believing they were members of the Royal Family, put them through to another nurse, who gave an update on the duchess's condition in detail.
The duchess was being treated in the King Edward VII's Hospital for hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme form of morning sickness.
Mrs Saldanha, 46, was pronounced dead on Friday morning at staff accommodation close to the hospital.
'No written apology'
Southern Cross Austereo, which owns the station, said all profits from advertising on 2Day FM for the rest of the year would be given to a fund for her family, with at least £320,000 being donated.
MP Keith Vaz, who met Mrs Saldanha's family in Parliament on Monday night, has called on the hospital where she worked to hold a full inquiry.
He has also written to Rhys Holleran, Southern Cross Austereo's chief executive, to say: "I am concerned and disappointed that Southern Cross Austereo appears to have not taken any steps to assist the family.
"There has been no written apology, no request for a meeting with the family and no attempt to travel to the United Kingdom to express contrition."
He also asked the company to explain how it arrived at the £320,000 figure.
The result of a post-mortem examination on the nurse will be released at the inquest into her death on Thursday morning, Scotland Yard has said.
The examination to establish the cause of Mrs Saldanha's death began on Monday and has concluded but its result will not be officially announced until the hearing at Westminster Coroner's Court.
The death is not being treated as suspicious and the inquest is expected to be opened and adjourned as inquiries are continuing.