Cathedral Mass for hoax call nurse
A mass will be held at Westminster Cathedral for the nurse who was found dead after being duped by a prank call from two Australian radio DJs.
Mother-of-two Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found hanging in her nurses' quarters at King Edward VII's Hospital by a colleague and a security guard last Friday.
The nurse transferred the DJs, believing they were the Queen and Prince of Wales, to a colleague who described in detail the condition of the Duchess of Cambridge during her hospital stay for severe pregnancy sickness.
The mass will be offered "for the repose of the soul of Jacintha and her grieving family", a spokesman for the Cathedral said. "We would hope to hold a more formal memorial after the inquest has concluded," he added. A provisional date of March 26 has been set for the next inquest hearing.
On Friday, after a private memorial service for Ms Saldanha at the hospital, its chief executive John Lofthouse said the nurse was reassured on a number of occasions by senior management after the hoax. Mr Lofthouse said was Ms Saldanha, from Bristol, was the victim of a "cruel trick", after which senior staff did not blame her and offered her time off and counselling.
Writing in reply to MP Keith Vaz, who stated that Ms Saldanha's family needed to know the "full facts" of what happened, Mr Lofthouse said: "Jacintha believed that the call was genuine and she felt it appropriate to put the call through. We stand by her judgment.
"Following the hoax call, Jacintha was reassured on a number of occasions by senior management that no blame was attached to her actions and that there were no disciplinary issues involved, because she had been the victim of a cruel trick."
Mr Lofthouse said she was offered a range of support after the hoax, including time off, but decided to continue working. He wrote: "As well as this reassurance, Jacintha was offered a range of further support including time off, the opportunity to return home and counselling from our occupational health service. Jacintha said that she would prefer to continue working. Neither ourselves, her friends or family noticed anything to give cause for concern."
Indian-born Ms Saldanha, whose body was identified by her accountant husband Benedict Barboza, was also found with marks on her wrist, Westminster Coroner's Court in London heard on Thursday.
The DJs behind the hoax call - Mel Greig and Michael Christian - have given an emotional account of their reaction to Ms Saldanha's death. Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), the parent company of 2Day FM, has ended the pair's Hot 30 show and suspended prank calls across the company. 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.