A temp arrives to cover reception while Jack is being treated for his cancer. Spencer is surprised when he sees who it is – his daughter Gilly. He says she shouldn’t be working there as she doesn’t know anything about hospitals. Gilly replies that the temping agency don’t know that, and that she’s a fast learner and will pick it up as she goes along. Later, Charlie complains to Spencer about some files that aren’t in order, and Spencer takes the blame, before going to complain to Gilly about her work.
Winnie Howard has been waiting to be treated for hours. The department is completely full as there is no room on the wards, and there is no cubicle free for Winnie. Dillon calls her son Martin, who comes in to see her, and starts complaining about the time Winnie has had to wait. Dillon explains the situation: they can’t get patients out of the department onto wards because the wards are short-staffed – there aren’t enough nurses. Dillon also tells him that the new NHS directive is that patients should not be waiting for more than four hours, but there’s no way they can meet that.
It’s Charlie’s first day back since his holiday in Canada. Jan comes down to A&E to see him. He tells her he’s had a fantastic holiday, that it was lovely to spend time with Louis but he’s growing up fast. He says he’s missed the department though. Jan asks if there’s anything else he’s missed. He asks, ‘What do you think?’ Jan realises he’s busy and says she’ll see him later. Later, they meet up outside, where the paramedics are organising a fund-raising ‘Winter Olympics’. Josh asks Charlie if he wants to throw sponges at Comfort. Charlie isn’t keen, but Jan tries to persuade him, so he says he’ll do it if she swaps places with Comfort. Jan reluctantly agrees, and he hits her in the face, saying it’s not every day you see senior management take it on the chin. Comfort asks for a big hand for the chief exec. Martin Howard is passing, and asks Jan if she’s the chief executive. He tells her he’s a journalist, writing for the Holby Gazette. He says the place is a disgrace, and asks what she’s playing at. Jan takes him to her office. Later, she comes down to A&E, demanding to know who treated Winnie Howard. Charlie finds out it was Dillon and they go to his office. Jan has a go at Dillon, who denies he did anything wrong – the information he gave out wasn’t confidential. Jan says the department’s had enough bad press as it is and he’s hurting himself and his colleagues. Charlie says that Dillon was only doing what he thought was best. Jan says they’ll have to wait and see what Martin Howard writes, but thanks to Dillon, any confidence the patients might have had in them will take a nosedive. She dismisses Dillon. As she goes to the lift, Jan sarcastically thanks Charlie for his support. He tells her his priority is to support his staff. He says that if doing what they think is in the patients’ best interest is wrong, he must break the rules himself dozens of times every day. He joins her in the lift, and says they’re working on the front line – there are times when they can’t help behaving impulsively. As the doors shut, she agrees with him, and goes to kiss him.
Patrick and Lara aren’t making any secret of the fact that they spent last night together, and are spending all their time flirting. Lara is called to treat Samantha Griffin, who has been brought in by ambulance after collapsing at a party. She doesn’t want to be treated, and keeps arguing with Lara. Eventually she hits out at Lara, cutting her cheek, and Lara seems about to hit her back when Patrick comes in to restrain her. Everyone is adamant that Lara should make a complaint, but she doesn’t want to make a fuss, and insists on continuing treating Samantha herself. Samantha keeps leaving her cubicle and wandering around, and she collapses in reception. She is taken to resusc, and looking through her notes again, Lara notices that she has an appointment with the endocrinologist for an overactive thyroid. She is kicking herself for not reading the notes carefully enough, and for not checking Samantha thoroughly enough, saying she just wanted to get her out of there. Patrick tries to tell her it was easy enough to miss but she tells him to stop making excuses for her. He tells her she made a mistake, and it happens. Samantha goes off, but they manage to make her stable, to Lara’s relief. At the end of the shift, Lara tells Patrick she can’t go on like this any longer; Patrick doesn’t know what she means but she pulls him towards her and kisses him.
Fin and Nikki are called out to a house where Nerys Wilson is having an asthma attack. Her hyperactive son Stanley is rushing around, making their job difficult. Nerys’s mum Pat turns up at the house and says the asthma is Nerys’s own fault for smoking. She picks up Nerys’s baby daughter and says she’ll try to keep Stanley under control in the ambulance. Nerys is taken to A&E. While she is being treated, Colette takes Pat and the children to the relatives’ room. She asks if Stanley is always so hyperactive, and if he’s seen a behavioural therapist. Pat says he has, and tells Colette he’s been prescribed amphetamines, but Nerys sells them on to get some extra cash. Pat says she’s tried to tell Nerys to stop, but she won’t listen. Colette, not knowing what to do, asks Josh’s advice. He tells her to go to Social Services. Colette isn’t sure, saying she can see that Nerys loves her kids, but he persuades her that it’s the right thing to do, and Colette makes the phone call. Later she goes to see Nerys, and tells her what she’s done. Nerys is upset, saying she needed the money to put food on the table, as she can’t get a job as childcare is too expensive and her mum doesn’t help. Pat comes in to see her, saying she’d have called Social Services herself if Colette hadn’t – she brought all this on herself. She leaves, and Nerys, crying, asks Colette to promise she can see her kids, but Colette can’t.
Tony goes up to see Jack, who is on a ward awaiting his operation. His consultant Mr Frey arrives to see him, and tells him that after the operation there’s a 90% chance that he won’t need further treatment. Nikki goes to see Jack, and gives him a cuddly tiger. Jack isn’t too impressed. She leaves a card with him, telling him to open it when she’s gone. He does so, and inside the card reads ‘I love you.’ As he is being taken to theatre, Jack asks the porter to stop, and pass him the tiger. Later, when he has come round from the anaesthetic, Nikki goes to see him again, and tells him she’s going to take some time off work so she can take care of him. Jack tells her not to. He tells her it’s over between them. Nikki thinks it’s because he’s upset at the moment, but he tells her he was going to dump her before he got ill, but didn’t have chance. He says they’re going nowhere. Nikki suggests they just take a break, but he insists that it’s over. Nikki leaves, crying. Tony comes in. Jack tells him what he’s done, and says that he doesn’t want Nikki lumbered with him, she deserves better. Tony tells him Nikki loves the bones of him. Tony tells him to get things in perspective, but Jack won’t listen. When Tony has gone, Jack lies cuddling the tiger, crying.
Episode first broadcast 16th February 2002
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