5 Dec 2012

Kate prank call ‘deplorable’ says hospital

The hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge is being treated says it “deeply regrets” a prank call from Australia which fooled staff into giving an update on Kate’s condition.

The Australian DJs called King Edward VII’s Hospital claiming to be the Queen and Prince Charles. After a brief conversation they were put through to a member of staff who gave out confidential information on the Duchess of Cambridge.

The hospital has released a statement confirming the hoax call to the hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

It said: “This call was transferred through to a ward and a short conversation was held with one of the nursing staff.

“King Edward VII’s Hospital deeply regrets this incident.”

We take patient confidentiality extremely seriously and we are now reviewing our telephone protocols. John Lofthouse, Chief Executive at King Edward VII’s Hospital

Despite disclosing confidential details of Kate’s condition the hospital, in a recent patient survey, scored 99.3 per cent satisfaction when it comes to patient privacy.

A source close to the King Edward VII told Channel 4 News the DJs had “no chance of getting through to Kate”.

John Lofthouse, the hospital’s chief executive, said: “This was a foolish prank call that we all deplore. We take patient confidentiality extremely seriously and we are now reviewing our telephone protocols.”

The Duchess of Cambridge has spent a second night in hospital where she is being treated for severe morning sickness.

St James’s Palace has declined to comment.

Radio station apologises

Mel Greig and Michael Christian, presenters of the weeknight show The Summer 30, which broadcast the prank call, apologised for the hoax later, as did their radio station.

They said: “We were very surprised that our call was put through. We thought we’d be hung up on as soon as they heard our terrible accents.

“We’re very sorry if we’ve caused any issues and we’re glad to hear that Kate is doing well.”

The prank call was pre-recorded and vetted by lawyers before being broadcast to listeners in Sydney.

A spokeswoman for the station said: “2Day FM sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused by the inquiries to Kate’s hospital. The radio segment was done with light hearted intentions. We wish Kate and her family all the best and we’re glad to hear she’s doing well.”