Hospital may sue DJs over Duchess hoax call

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THE hospital treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge is considering whether to take legal action after pranksters tricked a nurse into revealing information about her condition.

Australian radio DJs impersonating the Queen and Prince of Wales were given an update about Kate, who was admitted to London’s King Edward VII Hospital on Monday with acute morning sickness.

The 2Day FM presenters were put through to a nurse who reportedly told them: “She’s sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night. She’s been given some fluids, she’s stable at the moment.”

The prank call will be deeply embarrassing for the hospital, which is the medical institution of choice for the Royal Family, having treated the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Duchess of Cornwall over the years.

Chief executive John Lofthouse said yesterday: “I’ve received advice that what the Australian broadcasters did may well have broken the law.

“On the other hand they’ve apologised for it so we’re going to have a long and careful think about what, if anything, we do.”

He added: “I think this whole thing is pretty deplorable. Our nurses are caring, professional people trained to look after patients, not to cope with journalistic trickery of this sort.”

The radio presenters, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, were told by the nurse they could visit the Duchess after 9am.

She told the hoax Queen and Charles: “I would suggest that any time after nine o’clock will be suitable to visit. We’ll be getting her freshened up.”

The nurse added: “She’s quite stable. She hasn’t had any retching with me and she’s been sleeping on and off.”

The pranksters 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 hospital said it would be reviewing its phone protocols following the incident.

A spokesman said: “King Edward VII’s Hospital Sister Agnes can confirm that an Australian radio station made a hoax call to the hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

“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.”

The Duke of Cambridge was back at his wife’s bedside for five hours yesterday.

Kate, who is understood to be under 12 weeks pregnant, was also visited by her younger siblings Pippa and James Middleton.

Her parents Carole and Michael also reportedly saw her.

She was admitted to hospital after developing severe morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum.

The condition can leave patients feeling tired, dizzy and suffering from headaches – all signs of dehydration.

It affects one in 50 women and is more common among women carrying twins.

St James’s Palace has said there is “no further update” to the statement they released last night which said the Duchess “is continuing to feel better”.

A spokesman declined to comment on the hoax call.

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