Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Hoaxers given Kate health update

The Duke of Cambridge leaves the King Edward VII hospital in London after visiting his wife
Pippa Middleton leaves the King Edward VII hospital in London after visiting her sister, the Duchess of Cambridge
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child

Confidential details about the Duchess of Cambridge's health have been revealed by a nurse who fell victim to a hoax call.

Two Australian radio DJs impersonated the Queen and Prince of Wales to dupe staff into giving a condition update on Kate, who is suffering severe morning sickness.

John Lofthouse, chief executive of the private Edward VII Hospital, said he regretted the breach, but condemned the call as "journalistic trickery".

The presenters, from 2Day FM, remarked during their show how their efforts were the "easiest prank call ever made", as they put on mock British accents they later described as "terrible".

Mr Lofthouse said: "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."

He said there was no chance the Duchess could have received the call, adding: "Technically I think this was a breach of patient confidentiality, which I very much regret. Having said that, the information which was inadvertently revealed is already in the public domain."

The 2Day FM presenters, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, later apologised for their actions as did their radio station.

William visited his wife for almost five hours on Wednesday and is likely to be angered by the intrusion into Kate's health, despite the call having a humorous rather than sinister motive. The Duchess was also visited by her younger siblings Pippa and James Middleton who spent just over an hour with their sister.

Kate was admitted to hospital on Monday 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.

But it now appears she is responding to treatment and is likely to be having less severe bouts of vomiting.

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