Ryan started work as security guard in Holby A&E at the beginning of series 17. At the end of his first shift, he saw Duffy sitting outside, just after the death of her mother, and went to comfort her. He told her his wife had died of cancer, and in the end he had just had to let her go. He said he remembered her as she was when they first met, which meant he was always happy when he thought of her. It wasn't until he spoke to Charlie that he realised Duffy was a member of staff. When Duffy returned to work, he was sympathetic, understanding what she was going through. Soon afterwards he asked her out; Duffy agreed. Later, however, she changed her mind, feeling she wasn't ready to see anyone, but accepted Ryan's offer of a lift to the prison to see Lara. After the visit, Ryan had to comfort an upset Duffy. He then made a pass at her, and though Duffy was initially uncertain, she soon agreed that life was too short. They soon became an item. Ryan suggested they should start a business together, to allow Duffy more time to spend with her children. Duffy agreed, and handed in her notice. When Ryan asked her to marry him she said yes straight away. But the day after she left her job, Ryan went missing. After searching for him and going to the police, Duffy discovered that Ryan had cleared out their joint account.
A few weeks later, however, Ryan turned up again. He admitted to Duffy that he was a con man but said that this time he really had fallen for Duffy, and that he loved her. He offered her a new life in New Zealand, and Duffy, realising she loved him, agreed.