The hospital is still in the grip of the Norwalk crisis. Jan goes out into the car park to discover that the ambulances are queuing again as the department is not admitting any patients. Josh tells her that he and Fin have been waiting over an hour and a half but he points out that the patients are their responsibility until the A&E staff take them over. She is furious and goes back in to confront Max, insisting that they let the paramedics back on the road as she has received several phone calls of complaint from ambulance control. He explains that both the cubicles and resusc are full and the average waiting time is now around 10 hours; he would be prepared to accept the patients if there were room. Jan is adamant that she will not shut the department down – she cannot risk exposing the trust to such negative publicity and possible penalties. She suggests that they should put more patients on trolleys in the corridor and, as Max is about to protest, Spencer unwittingly walks in with an empty trolley. Reluctantly, Max agrees to accept a further four patients which Jan announces will be referred to as ‘mobile beds’. Later, Charlie informs her that Dillon does not have the virus - he was just exhausted. Jan is pleased that her instinct was right and tells Charlie that she has set up a meeting of the hospital emergency committee for later that morning. He says that she must be prepared to start without him but she protests that there is no point in them meeting without him as they are trying to help the department. Shortly afterwards, she hands Spencer a marker pen and tells him to make signs to number the ‘mobile beds’. Max sees him putting them up and complains again to Jan, accusing her of referring to them as ‘mobile beds’ to avoid them appearing on the department’s trolley waiting statistics. Later on, as Charlie is breaking up a fracas in reception, she comes down to tell Charlie that the senior managers are waiting for him at the meeting. He points out that it is more important for him to be in the department, treating patients, before announcing that he is not going to this or any other non-clinical meeting – he is quitting the CNS post as he is not interested in the politics and just wants to be a nurse.
Mr Silver brings his wife back to the department. She was seen by Lara the night before for a dog bite on her hand and it has got much worse over night. Mrs Silver is angry that it was not sorted properly at the time and remarks that it is no wonder Lara is making mistakes when she has obviously not slept all night. Lara examines her hand again and diagnoses cellulites. The patient is even more unimpressed to hear that she will need to be admitted to receive iv antibiotics, having waited five hours the night before. She demands a second opinion which Lara points out she will get when the orthopaedic registrar comes down to admit her. As they start berating her again, Charlie appears and asks if he can have a word with her. Outside, he confesses that he didn’t need to speak to her about anything but just thought she looked like she needed an escape.
Anna goes through to reception and calls through a young girl who is clearly ill. As she leads her off, a man with his arm in a sling complains that he has been waiting longer. Conn Cusack has also brought his wife in and she is waiting on a trolley just off reception. When Mrs Silver comes in, Spencer goes to ask Mrs Cusack if he can borrow her trolley and put her in a wheelchair. He refuses on the grounds that it is his wife’s and she must be on a trolley if she is to be seen. Lara comes over and points out that the trolley is not a sunbed and they cannot put their towel on it and claim it as their own. She will call security if they do not let Spencer have the trolley. The man with his arm in a sling comes over to support Conn as Mr Pointer also joins them. He insists that Conn should leave the staff alone as they are obviously having a hard enough time. As they start to fight, Mrs Cusack tells them all to stop and climbs off the trolley herself. Later Conn accosts Lara in the corridor and tells her he wants her to see his wife now. Lara reluctantly gets her notes and then tells him that there is not much she can do. His wife has endometriosis and her GP should refer her to a gynaecologist. She suggests that they should go home as Mrs Cusack will only be seen when she has a trolley. He is unhappy at this and drags her by the hand to his wife’s trolley. The two men appear again and a fight ensues. Mr Pointer is thrown to the floor. After the fight has broken up Conn goes into the corridor where Mr Piper, an elderly gentleman with a leg abscess, is lying. His visit has been longer than he anticipated after student nurse Roxanne gave him two ibuprufen tablets and he suffered an anaphylactic reaction. After the staff have treated him and returned him to the corridor, he tells Lara that he is asthmatic and allergic to a lot of drugs. However Roxanne did not look at his drug chart and was following Simon’s verbal instructions. Conn tells him that he needs his trolley and asks if he would mind climbing off it. As he is wheeling it away, Colette discovers what he is doing and he angrily pushes the trolley back to her. It crashes into Mr Piper instead, rupturing his abscess. Conn returns to reception and takes his wife home.
At the start of the shift Lara complains to Colette about Simon and his jokes. Simon announces his intention to apply for Patrick’s job and asks Max for a reference. Lara tells him that she will also be applying. Later, Simon accosts her and asks if he will be entitled to the same ‘fringe benefits’ when he gets Patrick’s job. She flares up and tells him he is a self-centred, insensitive creep. He simply replies, ‘So that’s a no then?’ which angers her further. Colette intervenes and tells Simon to stop. Lara walks off insisting she is fine. After his fight in reception, Lara tells Mr Pointer that he has a broken nose. When she asks why he was in reception he tells her that there is nothing wrong with him – he just like the company. It transpires that his wife died several months ago, having been brought into the department with a brain haemorrhage. He remembers Lara and tells her that he will never forget what she did; the people complaining in reception don’t know how lucky they are to be able to walk in and be treated by such wonderful staff. At this Lara, breaks down and runs out of the cubicle. Charlie gently leads her away. As they head towards his office Simon asks her if she is unable to take the pace. Charlie tells him that he has seen hundreds of doctors like him: they come and with any luck they go. In his office he tells Lara that she should take some time off. She says that she wants Patrick’s job and is not going to give Simon a clear field.
Holby MP, Justine Walker is opening a new health center. She is clearly passionate about health issues and praises all the staff for their work. At the same time, Fin and Josh are called to collect her son, Danny. He is in a home, suffering from cerebral palsy and has developed a chest infection. He is very sick but there is no room in resusc for him when they get to the hospital. His carer, who has accompanied him, is angry that he is to be treated in the corridor. She is trying to get hold of Danny’s mother but her mobile is switched off. Outside the health center, Justine tells her secretary that she is going to call at the Holby City club shop to buy a shirt for Danny on her way to her next meeting. Her secretary is still holding Justine’s phone as the taxi pulls off. Back at the hospital, Danny is tiring and Max suspects he is going into multi organ shutdown. He explains to Eileen that the outlook is not good. Justine’s secretary catches her at the club shop and tells her about Eileen’s messages. Justine rushes to the hospital. As Danny’s condition deteriorates, he is in need of ventilation but the department’s portable machine is still up in ITU. Max goes off to get it back and tells Simon to put him on CPAP, another means of supporting a patient’s breathing, whilst he is gone. He is angry when Simon protests and questions his decision. He returns empty handed as the ventilator is still in use and discovers that Danny has not been put on CPAP. However, Simon explains that all the machines are in use. They decide to intubate him but, as they are taking him to resusc, the paramedics are wheeling another patient in. Danny is fading fast and Max is angry that he could not do more for him. Eventually they decide to stop trying to ventilate him. Justine arrives at the hospital and heads for reception. Jack tells her that he will go and get Max. However, Eileen comes in and insists on taking her straight to Danny. Tony recognizes her and tells Max who she is – he is left apologizing profusely. Jan is angry she was not informed that there was a VIP in the department. Charlie suggests that she shouldn’t worry Justine at the moment but she retorts that she will be the judge of that. She accosts Justine as she returns from seeing Danny’s body and apologizing on behalf of the trust. She insists that they should go up to her office but Justine says that the corridor is good enough for them to talk if it was good enough for her son to die. Jan assures her that Danny was given the best possible care but Justine says that a properly run hospital should be able to handle such a crisis. She intends to find out why the department is in such chaos and is convince that only one person is to blame: Jan.
As Josh and Fin are leaving the department, Nicki and Comfort are coming in. Fin tells her that he wants to see her later. Josh escorts him out into the car park and warns him that work and pleasure don’t mix. Fin assures him that they are both grown-ups and are capable of handling it. Later on, Fin finds Comfort on her break and asks to talk. He takes her behind a wall to kiss her before suggesting they go elsewhere. In the boiler room she tells him that they have to stop because what they are doing is wrong. He asks how loving her can be wrong – they have only one chance and can’t afford to let it go. He suggests that she moves in but she insists it is too soon and it would break her husband’s heart.
Nicki is still pining over Jack. Anna tells her that she must talk to him as she has been walking round with a face ‘like a sack of spanners’. If he is the one for her, she must sort it out. Nicki later confides in Comfort that it feels like there is a wall between them. She also advises her to talk to Jack. In reception Jack is teasing Roxanne but moves away from her quickly when Nicki comes in. As she is leaving, Anna tells her that she has suggested that Roxanne moves in with them. Nicki is not happy and says she’ll think about it. Later, Roxanne is still hanging around Jack but goes over to Nicki and asks whether Anna has talked about her moving in. Nicki explains that she is still thinking about it and needs a private word with Jack. She asks him out for a drink and is thrilled when he says yes. Later she agrees to Roxanne moving in but says that she will be dead meat if she so much as lays a finger on Jack!
Episode first broadcast Saturday 20th April 2002
Gillian Taylforth Danny Walker
Ben McKay Eileen
Polly Nayler Chris Meredith
Michael Praed Con Cusack
Francis Johnson Diamond Cusack
Jacqui Boatswain Bill Pointer
Bill Moody Mr Piper
Brian Miller Mr Silver
John Webb Mrs Silver
Genevieve Walsh Dale
Dickon Tolson Penny
Selina Boyack Mr Hallett
Alan Mason Kayley Clarke
Written by Helen Barratt
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