Nurse death: Post mortem results to be released at inquest opening

11:48 12 December 2012

The results of a post mortem into Jacintha Saldanha

The results of a post mortem into Jacintha Saldanha's death are to be released tomorrow.

Archant

The result of a post mortem on the nurse who apparently killed herself after being duped by two Australian DJ hoax callers will be released at the inquest into her death tomorrow, Scotland Yard has said.

The examination to establish the cause of Jacintha Saldanha’s death began yesterday and has concluded but its result will not be officially announced until the hearing at Westminster Coroner’s Court on Thursday morning.

The family of the nurse are set to receive more than £300,000 from Southern Cross Austereo, the parent company of Sydney station 2Day FM, whose presenters were behind the prank call.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the post mortem result “would be announced tomorrow at the inquest”.

The death is not being treated as suspicious and the inquest is expected to be opened and adjourned as inquiries are continuing.

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) is to resume advertising on 2Day FM tomorrow, and until the end of the year all profits from the adverts will be donated to a memorial fund established in aid of Ms Saldanha’s husband and teenage children.

A minimum contribution of £320,000 will be made, the company said.

SCA chief executive Rhys Holleran said yesterday: “We hope that by contributing to a memorial fund, we can help to provide the Saldanha family with the support they need at this very difficult time.”

Labour MP Keith Vaz has been campaigning on behalf of the nurse’s husband Benedict Barboza, daughter Lisha, 14, and son Junal, 16, and has called on King Edward VII’s Hospital, where she worked, to hold a full inquiry and offer further support to her loved ones.

It has been reported that the family did not know about the hoax call until after Ms Saldanha’s death.

The Labour MP has said: “They want the facts to be established so that they can effectively grieve.

“What is needed, clearly, is an inquiry by the hospital into how this tragic case happened.

“It is vitally important that the family are given all the support they need through the coming days and weeks.”

In response to Mr Vaz’s criticism, the hospital said its chief executive, John Lofthouse, spoke to the nurse’s husband by phone on Friday and offered to meet him whenever he wanted.

The hospital has also established a memorial fund in Ms Saldanha’s name to provide financial support for her family, and made the first donation to the fund.

During the hoax call, 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 treatment for severe pregnancy sickness.

Ms Saldanha, 46, from Bristol, would have been devastated by her unwitting role in last Tuesday’s scam, her brother has said. She was found dead three days later in a block of nurses’ flats close to the hospital.

It is understood the family are making arrangements to return Ms Saldanha’s body to her native India. A private memorial service is expected to be held later this week.

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