Labour MP visits family of royal hoax nurse Jacintha Saldanha
Labour MP Keith Vaz has visited the family of the Bristol nurse believed to have taken her life after being duped by prank callers.
Jacintha Saldanha, who lived in Southmead with her husband and two teenage children, was found dead on Friday at nurses' lodgings near the central London King Edward VII hospital, where the duchess was being treated for pregnancy complications, just three days after answering the call from two Australian DJs, posing as the Queen and Prince Charles.
The nurse, who used to work for North Bristol NHS Trust – which runs Southmead Hospital near the family home – answered the call at 5.30am before putting the DJs through to another nurse who gave the callers details of the duchess' condition.
Mr Vaz visited the family yesterday, and today urged the hospital where she was working to hold an inquiry and provide more support to the relatives.
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“What is needed, clearly, is an inquiry by the hospital into what has happened,” he told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One.
“The hospital has sent them a letter, which I have seen, but I’m surprised that nobody has made the journey to Bristol to sit with them and offer them the counselling that I think they need.”
They came out of hiding to claim they were 'gutted, shattered and heartbroken' after the nurse they tricked was found dead days later.
Mel Greig, 30, and Michael Christian, 25, who work for Sydney radio station 2Day FM, said they were devastated and wanted to apologise to the family of mother-of-two Jacintha Saldanha.
"The first thing I asked was: "Was she a mother?"' Miss Greig said.
"If we played any involvement in her death then we’re very sorry for that. We couldn’t foresee what was going to happen in the future."
Their interview came as the radio station's company Austereo said they tried to contact King Edward VII Hospital five times before putting the hoax call on air - although the hospital has now separately said that they 'did not speak to senior management' or their press office.
The 'incredibly sorry' pair have been in hiding since Mrs Saldana, 46, who worked at the hospital in Marylebone, central London, was found dead - 72 hours after the hoax call.
Today, they gave two interviews in Australia - to Clare Brady on Channel 7's Today Tonight and Tracy Grimshaw on Channel 9's A Current Affair - and both interviewers adopted a sympathetic approach.
Most people who are thinking about taking their own life have given warning signs beforehand. These feelings do improve and can be treated.
If you are concerned about someone, or need help yourself, please contact the Samaritans on 08457 909 090 day or night.