9 Dec 2012

Protest by hospital after tragic hoax call

10:01 pm on 9 December 2012

The hospital in London that employed a nurse who was found dead after receiving a hoax call about the Duchess of Cambridge, has protested to the Australian network involved.

King Edward VII hospital chair Lord Simon Glenarthur, has written to the head of 2Day FM in Sydney saying it was a truly appalling decision to broadcast the call on Tuesday.

Lord Glenarthur said the consequences were "frankly, tragic beyond words".

The ABC reports there has been a wave of anger in Britain directed at the two Australians behind the prank.

Jacintha Saldanha, 46, answered a phone call from 2Day FM presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles in an attempt to speak to the Duchess of Cambridge.

She transferred the call to a colleague who divulged details of Catherine's acute morning sickness.

Mrs Saldanha was found dead on Friday.

A wooden cross with a British flag was left outside the hospital on Saturday, while flowers were placed outside the accomodation block for nurses.

King Edward VII hospital chief executive John Lofthouse said on Friday Ms Saldanha was an "excellent nurse" who had been offered support after the hoax.

"Jacintha was a first class nurse who cared diligently for hundreds of patients during her time with us," he said.

"Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much-loved and valued colleague."

The ABC reports that London police investigating her death have contacted Australian police.

New South Wales police deputy commissioner Nick Kaldas says British officers have made contact but so far there's been no request for action.

Presenters taken off air

The Sydney radio station's owner has held crisis talks over the prank call.

Southern Cross Austereo confirmed its board of directors met on Sunday after the hospital targeted in the prank made an official complaint, condemning the stunt as truly appalling.

The outcome of the meeting is unknown.

On Saturday, Austereo confirmed all advertising on 2Day FM was suspended until at least Monday, as a mark of respect to advertisers.

Greig and Christian were also taken off air until further notice.

Australian Communications and Media Authority chairman Chris Chapman said on Saturday that the authority will be talking to the licensee of 2Day FM about "the facts and issues surrounding the prank call''.