I don't know what the protocol is in the UK. But, in the US the patient has to sign a form listing any and all persons who are allowed information about them. HIPPA is a nuisance when you're trying to get information about a loved one. But, in instances like this, it is a barrier. From personal experience, when my parents were in the hospital, very little information was given over the phone, if I initiated the call. The nurses were very forthcoming when I was there. But, I got most info when the doctors called me. Heck, we have an entire day dedicated to pranks and practical jokes - April Fool's Day. We have all (mostly) pulled innocent, harmless practical jokes on our family and friends. But, as has been said - in private and we know what they are able to tolerate. I agree, there is a difference. I am missing a piece of the information. How did the nurse's name get out?