Published on 14 Dec 2012 Sections

Note left by dead nurse ‘critical of hospital staff’

A note left by the nurse at the centre of the royal hoax phone call contains criticisms of staff at the hospital where she worked until she was found dead one week ago, according to reports.

Flowers left outside the Edward VII hospital in memory of Jacintha Saldanha (Getty)

The nurse who was duped by a prank call from two Australian radio DJs to the King Edward VII Hospital, which was treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, left three suicide notes, an inquest heard on Thursday.

Jacintha Saldanha, 46, a mother-of-two from Bristol, was found hanging in her nurses’ quarters by a colleague and a security guard on 7 December.

Two notes were found in her room and another among her possessions, London’s Westminster coroner’s court was told.

Friday’s Guardian reports that one note deals with the hoax call by the DJs from 2Day FM, another details her requests for her funeral and the third addresses her employers, the hospital and contains criticism of staff there.

The Guardian said that it bases this report on claims from two separate sources.

‘No disciplinary issues’

A spokeswoman for the hospital told the newspaper that no one in senior management knew what the contents of the notes left by Mrs Saldanha were. She said the hospital management “were very clear that there were no disciplinary issues in this matter”.

At the inquest on Thursday, detective chief inspector James Harman said that police are also looking into telephone calls and emails to see if they throw any light on the death.

He told coroner Fiona Wilcox that Scotland Yard detectives would be in contact with their colleagues in Australia to interview witnesses to “put the best evidence before you” about the circumstances of the death.

He said: “I can expect in the very near future to be in contact with colleagues in New South Wales.”

A provisional date of 26 March has been set for the for the next hearing.

Mrs Saldanha was fooled by the two DJs into believing they were the Queen and the Prince of Wales during the prank call to the hospital in London.

She transferred the call from the Sydney-based station to a colleague, who described in detail the condition of Kate, who was being treated for severe morning sickness.

Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is campaigning on behalf of the family, has written a letter to Rhys Holleran, the chief executive of Australian radio company Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), calling for the full facts.

Mr Vaz, who arrived after the hearing, said outside court: “I have not received a response so I think we will need him to respond.

The MP later released a copy of a letter he had written to John Lofthouse, chief executive of King Edward VII Hospital.

It contained a reference to comments made by David Cameron that “having the full facts of the case” allows people to come to terms with what has happened.

Mr Vaz wrote: “I have dealt with similar cases in the past and I would agree with the prime minister that the family need to get the full facts, from the time she took the call from 2Day FM to the time she was found in her accommodation.”

The letter said Mrs Saldanha’s family would take up the hospital’s offer of bereavement counselling and that they had also given the institution a list of questions they wanted answered.

Death threats

Staff at SCA have been forced to move into safe house accommodation and managers have recruited 24-hour bodyguards for their protection, according to reports.

Australian news website said police have launched an investigation due to staff receiving death threats, with one letter specifically targeting one of the two DJs, Michael Christian.

The letter reportedly said there are “bullets out there with your (Christian’s) name on” and contained further threats involving a shotgun.