One of three apparent suicide notes left by the nurse at the centre of the royal hoax phone call criticised staff at the King Edward VII hospital where she worked, the Guardian has learned.
Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found hanged in her apartment in the nurses' quarter of the hospital in Marylebone, central London, by a colleague and a security officer, an inquest into her death heard on Thursday. Three notes were found, two at the scene and one in the nurse's belongings.
She was found dead three days after two DJs rang the hospital from Australia posing as the Queen and Prince Charles in a prank call which Saldanha answered and put through to another nurse on the ward where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for morning sickness.
The dead woman's family has been given typed copies of the three handwritten notes by the police and has read the contents, the Guardian has been told.
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 understands from two separate sources.
The Westminster coroner, Dr Fiona Wilcox, was told at the formal opening of the inquest that she had been found hanging in her apartment and there were also injuries to her wrists.
The hearing was told that paramedics who attended the scene in Weymouth Street made several attempts to revive her.
Scotland Yard is investigating a number of emails which the inquest heard were relevant to the nurse's death, as well as telephone calls made to and from her phone in the days before her death.
The Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is acting as a spokesman for Saldanha's husband and two children, published a letter from him to John Lofthouse, chief executive of the King Edward Vll hospital, calling for the "full facts" of what happened to be given to the family.
Earlier this week the nurse's family met Lofthouse and handed over a list of questions they want answered. Vaz said in his letter to Lofthouse: "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 family gave you a list of questions that they wish the hospital to answer so that they can have the full facts of the case. I know they would appreciate answers to their questions in writing as soon as possible. They may also have additional questions."
Detective Chief Inspector James Harman said at the inquest that the Metropolitan police would be contacting officers in New South Wales as part of its inquiry. He said: "On Friday 7 December Jacintha Saldanha was found by colleagues and a member of security staff. At this time there are no suspicious circumstances apparent to me in relation to this death.
"A number of notes were recovered. Two notes were at the scene and a further note was found in the deceased's belongings. Three notes in total."
Saldanha, a mother of two, was identified by her husband, an accountant, the inquest heard.
Harman told the hearing: "There are a number of emails that are of relevance in helping us establish what may have led to this death and we are also looking at the deceased's telephone contacts. Detectives spoke to a number of witnesses, family, friends and colleagues in order to establish anything that led or may have contributed to this tragic death."
Saldanha was found three days after the DJs made the prank call. As the nurse on duty, she took the call and put it through to a colleague on the ward where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for morning sickness, who gave out information about her condition.
Harman told the coroner: "You will be aware of the wider circumstances of this case. And I expect in the very near future we shall be in contact with colleagues in New South Wales to establish the best means of putting the evidence before you."
The coroner's officer Lynda Martindill told the hearing that Saldanha, born in India, was a registered nurse and night nurse. Toxicology and histology test results were pending.
Adjourning the inquest until 26 March, Wilcox spoke directly to Saldanha's colleagues who attended the hearing. She said: "I wish to pass on my sympathy to you and her family and all those touched by this terribly tragic death"."
A spokeswoman for the hospital said no one in senior management knew what the contents of the notes left by Saldanha were. She said the hospital management "were very clear that there were no disciplinary issues in this matter".
Both the nurses involved had been offered "full support" and "it was made clear they were victims of a cruel journalistic trick", she said.
The hospital has offered bereavement counselling for the family in Bristol, which they have decided to take up, according to Vaz.
The family did not attend the hearing. Speaking outside the inquest Vaz said Saldanha's relatives were "grieving in their homes … They are comforting each other and the community is comforting them".
He said he had passed on the coroner's comments. The family were grateful to the coroner's office and Metropolitan police, he added.
A memorial service will be held in Bristol. A mass will be held in the chapel at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.
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