Series 16 Episode 31:
Written by James Wood

Alex helps her husband Mark out of bed and into his wheelchair – he is disabled following a stroke. Later she goes out, and returns to find he’s set out a lovely lunch for them both. She reminds him he’s not allowed cheese or alcohol, but he says he just wants to live a little for once. After lunch, she goes out again, and returns to find him collapsed on the floor. She phones an ambulance and he is taken to Holby A&E. Simon thinks Mark must have taken an overdose, but Alex says he wouldn’t. Mark tells her he did it on purpose, saying he doesn’t want to live like this any longer. He says Alex is his nurse now, not his wife, and it just reminds him of everything he’s lost. He says it’s no life for her either, but Alex says she made the choice to look after him. He insists that he wants to die, and asks her to let him. Alex, upset, storms out of the cubicle. Mark has another stroke and is taken into resusc – it seems that the stroke has disabled the rest of his body and he can’t speak. Alex thinks it was because of the argument but Lara assures her that’s not the case. Mark is stabilised, and Lara leaves Alex alone with him. Alex kisses him, then, saying it’s what he wants, takes the pillow from under his head and smothers him. Lara comes along and sees her; she removes the pillow and they try to resuscitate him, despite Alex’s objections. Mark dies, however. Lara breaks the news to Alex, who says it’s good – it’s what Mark wanted. Lara tells her she’s in trouble, but Alex doesn’t care, because Mark’s happy now. She is taken away by the police.
Tony has been making comments suggesting Dillon is gay. Dillon eventually tells him to just come out and say it, that he thinks he’s gay. He says he isn’t. Tony asks when he last had a girlfriend; Dillon says it’s been a while but that’s because he’s fussy, not gay, even if Tony wants him to be. He says Tony fancies him. Tony denies it but Dillon doesn’t believe him, and says he’s flattered but Tony’s out of luck.
Mrs Meggie is brought in from a nursing home after a fall. Shelley, a nurse from the home, thinks she’s broken her hip. She hasn’t got Mrs Meggie’s notes, as she says there wasn’t time to find them. Mrs Meggie has a long wait and Shelley is fed up, as she was due to finish a while ago. She lowers the side of the trolley to sit on the end of it, then gets up to fetch something to eat. She forgets to put the side of the trolley back up, and before she returns Mrs Meggie falls from the trolley. She is taken for another X-ray. When the X-rays come back, Simon examines them. He discovers that Mrs Meggie has had both hips replaced, so there was no damage to them from her fall at the home, but the X-ray taken after her second fall shows a fracture. He complains to Shelley, saying if she’d bothered to find out that Mrs Meggie had false hips she would have known they weren’t broken in the fall, and there would have been no need to bring her in and cause her to fall again.
Nikki, seeing Tony at reception, asks if Jack is skiving again. When Jack returns with a cup of coffee and a snack, she calls him selfish, but takes it back when he gives it to a man in reception who’s had a long drive. She says sarcastically, ‘It makes me feel warm all over.’ Jack offers to make her feel warm all over, and she hits him with a file. Later, however, she goes on to Anna about how sweet it was of Jack. She phones her new boyfriend and tells him they should break up, then later goes up to reception to talk to Jack. She sees him chatting up a girl, the boyfriend of a patient. She’s arranged to come to the club where he’s next DJ-ing, and Nikki hears her say she’ll see him on Thursday.
Comfort goes to confession, and tells her Father that she has committed adultery, but then says she can’t do this, and runs out of the church. She goes to work, and finds that Josh is off sick and Fin has come to take his place. Fin is surprised when they discuss what they did that Comfort thinks it’s a bad thing. She says she committed adultery – not only is she a bad Christian but she’s a bad wife, and she feels guilty whenever she looks at Rob. They get a shout to a meat factory, where Kofi has got his hand stuck in a mincer. Before they arrived, the boss, Mike, told Kofi to say that the safety guards were always on and he’d taken it off himself. Kofi agrees, and sticks to the story. Fin is suspicious, as the fire crew who come to get him out say there’s no reason he’d take the safety guard off. Kofi’s hand is badly injured and it looks like it will have to be amputated. The fire crew manage to get it out of the machine, and he is taken to A&E. Kofi tells them he has no family, but he had previously told Fin that he had brothers and sisters. Fin decides to report Mike’s factory to Health and Safety. Later, the surgeon tells Kofi his hand will have to be amputated, but Kofi won’t give his consent. Fin tries to convince him, but fails, and goes outside to have a go at Mike. He says he’s reported him to Health and Safety, and Mike says he’s an idiot – Kofi, his family, and the other factory workers are all illegal immigrants, and now he’s called the authorities, and done the worst thing possible for Kofi. Fin is upset at his mistake. Comfort tells him he did the right thing – he acted with good intentions. Fin looks as if he is about to kiss her, and she turns away. He tells her to look him in the eye and say she doesn’t want to be with him. She says it’s wrong, and if they carry on other people will get hurt. Fin says they have to follow their feelings or hide from them – either way someone will get hurt. He says he hasn’t stopped thinking about her, and kisses her. When they have stopped, Nikki, walking past, sees them standing close, and asks if they’ve had a bad day too. She tells them Jack’s got a new girlfriend. Fin asks if it’s a bad thing, and she says yes, because it’s not her.
Jan comes down to A&E to tell Charlie that there are two cases of the Norwalk virus on one of the wards, so they’ve had to close it, which will mean more bed shortages. Charlie complains that A&E will turn into a ward as there’ll be nowhere for the patients to go. He says they’ll need more nurses; Jan offers to send down some of the nurses from the ward, but Charlie says they’re not trained and are likely to be infected. She asks him to give her a bit of time to work things out, and he agrees. One patient, Jez, is kept waiting for hours to have his hand stitched, and eventually storms out. Later, as Charlie is complaining to Jan about the state of the department, Jez is brought back in by ambulance, after crashing his car. Charlie tells Jan it wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t walked out of there in a rage. He tells her that the last hospital he heard of that had a Norwalk infection had fourteen patients die and had to close. He says they’re stretched to breaking point and things can only get worse – if the bug gets down there they’ll have to close the department and isolate everybody in it. He says, ‘You’d better just pray that no-one dies.’

Episode first broadcast Saturday 6th April 2002

Additional Cast
Mark          Paul Venables
Kofi          Kofi Agyemang
Alex          Poppy Miller
Jez          Nicholas Khan
Mike          Mark Lewis
Jo          Nicole Faraday
Phil          Gregory Fox-Murphy
Mrs Meggie          Georgina Beer
Shelley          Mina Anwar
Claire          Sam Loggin