Series 16 Episode 32:
Written by Edel Brosnan

A&E is in chaos following the closure of two wards due to the Norwalk virus. Jan tells the press that it’s under control. She stakes her reputation on the hospital being able to stay open to serve the residents of Holby. She says that no-one has died yet, and they’re going to keep it that way. Meanwhile, Simon goes to see Mrs Meggie, who has the Norwalk virus and is slipping away fast. He tells her doctor that she’s only there because she injured herself falling from her trolley in A&E after her care worker left the side down. Later Mrs Meggie dies – the first death from the Norwalk virus.
It’s student nurse Roxanne Bird’s first day, and she immediately has a run-in with Colette about her long nails. She is carrying her entire possessions with her, as she had a row with her mum earlier and decided to leave home. She is staying with a mate, but her bags, left in admin, disappear, and she realises she has nowhere to stay, as her keys were in the bag and her mate is away for the night. Anna offers Roxanne her sofa for the night. Roxanne goes to take care of Will Coogan. Will has had cancer for months, and came into A&E after deteriorating. He has been waiting for a bed for hours. His wife Lily is with him. She realises it’s Roxanne’s first day and tells her she used to be a nurse. They are waiting for their son to arrive – he is due back from holiday today. Lily asks about Will’s bed, and Roxanne tells her that it shouldn’t be long, as Colette is sorting it out now. Later, Lily mentions this to Colette, who then rebukes Roxanne for making promises they can’t keep. Roxanne apologises to Lily, who says she understands. Will starts to deteriorate and is taken to resusc, but after a while he has to be moved again as the victims of an RTA are brought to resusc. He is taken to a treatment room just as his son Matt arrives. Lily and Matt are led to the relatives’ room. When Lily goes to check on Will, she finds he has died. She calls in Colette and Charlie, upset that he died alone in a treatment room, and his wife and son didn’t have chance to say goodbye. Charlie says they don’t have to say he’s dead yet – they could tell the relatives that he’s slipping away, and ask them to come and say their goodbyes. Roxanne objects, saying it’s not right, but Charlie says there’s no point denying Lily and Matt the chance to say goodbye. Lily and Matt are brought in, and say goodbye, then Charlie, feeling Will’s pulse, tells them he’s gone. They are left alone with Will, but afterwards Lily confronts Roxanne in the relatives’ room, saying she knew Will was already dead. Roxanne says she was against it, but Lily tells her that going along with it is just as bad. Roxanne says she doesn’t know what to say, and Lily replies, ‘I wouldn’t want to hear it anyway,’ before walking out.
Simon tells Colette, who knows he’s seeing his brother’s fiancée Claire, that it’s his dad’s birthday tonight, and he, his brother Stuart and Claire are all going out for dinner together with his dad. Later Claire comes in to see Simon, to tell Simon that Stuart’s going to ask him to be his best man. Simon says he can hardly say no to his own brother. They go to the staff room and start kissing, but are interrupted by Roxanne.
As the crisis in A&E worsens, Max and Charlie decide to ask Jan to reroute incoming patients to other hospitals. They go to her office and explain that there is no space for any more patients – every room and every corridor is full – and there are not enough nurses to look after the patients. Jan refuses to close the department, saying they are the only emergency department within a two-hour radius. Max sarcastically thanks her for her support, and walks out.
Comfort and Fin are called out to a house where David Taymor has broken his arms falling from a stepladder whilst decorating. David cannot move to answer the door, so the paramedics have to break in. Whilst they are doing so, Fin asks Comfort when she’s going to spend the whole night with him, instead of going home to Rob. She tells him not to start playing ‘him or me’ – he might lose. She tells him she wants it to stop. They eventually get in and find David lying on the floor. Comfort comments on the duck-egg blue he was using to paint the walls, and he tells her it was his girlfriend’s choice, and that he dumped her earlier in the day. They take him to A&E, where they are met outside by Max. Max, after finding out that David’s condition isn’t life-threatening, tells them that he can’t come into the department as they’re full up – they’ll have to stay there and take care of him themselves, until he can make some space. As other ambulances arrive Max tells them the same thing, and soon the ambulance bay is full. Meanwhile, David is talking about dumping his girlfriend, and Fin agrees with him that it was a good idea to cut his losses, saying when a relationship’s over, it’s over. He says that people stay in a relationship because they’re scared they might be happier with someone new. Comfort, getting fed up with this, goes inside to escape. She talks to Colette, and confesses that she and Fin are sleeping together. She says she and Rob are happy, but Fin excites her and makes her laugh. She almost says she loves him, but Colette stops her, saying one the love thing happens she’s sunk. She tells her to go home to Rob and start again, making sure Rob doesn’t find out, as it would destroy him. She tells Comfort to finish it before it’s too late. Meanwhile, Fin points out to David that he’s chosen the wrong time to dump his girlfriend – with both arms broken he won’t be able to do a thing for himself. David decides to call his girlfriend and make up with her. Later Fin offers Comfort a lift home, but she says she’ll walk. He asks why she keeps pushing him away. Comfort says it’s easy for him as he’s not betraying anyone. He says he can’t stop thinking about her. Comfort asks what they’re doing. Fin replies, ‘I don’t know, but I like it.’ They kiss.
Dillon, who is working a double shift to help out, faints whilst treating a patient. He soon comes round, but there are fears that he has caught the Norwalk virus. Charlie wants to call infection control to get him tested, but Jan is against this, saying infection control will call them guilty until proven innocent, and they’ll close the department. Charlie says they’ve got to protect the people out there. Jan replies that if they close A&E the hospital won’t even be providing basic treatment. Dillon says he thinks it’s just overwork, and Charlie agrees to send him home. He puts Dillon in a taxi, telling him to call him if he feels worse. Charlie tells Jan he hopes for her sake that Dillon’s not ill. He tells her not to do this to him again – it’s a cover-up. She asks if he’d prefer to close a major hospital. He says if she’s wrong she’s going to get fired. Jan reminds him that he put Dillon in the taxi, and says they’re in this together.

Episode first broadcast Saturday 13th April 2002

Additional Cast
Roxanne Bird          Loo Brealey
Mrs Meggie          Georgina Beer
Claire          Sam Loggin
David Taymor          Barney Craig
Helen          Nia Gwynne
Lucy          Lynsay Allen
Martina          Caroline Hayes
Rajiv          Christopher Ryman
Zoe          Jackie Fielding
Zack          Andrew Watts
Matt          David Michaels
Will Coogan          Hugh Dickson
Lily Coogan          Ann Penfold
Daljit          Shelley Conn
Philip Broughton          Darren Rapier
Chris Meredith          Michael Praed