Tag Archives: steven miller

Casualty: Suffering for a good cause

(Series 26, Ep.22) Holby, as a city (as opposed to Holby City as a hospital) is a dangerous place in which to live and work. At any moment your life might be turned upside down by a ghastly freak accident, a hitherto unsuspected and rare illness, or a relative with one or more of the above. And these things will happen to you chiefly so they can give the staff of Holby City (the hospital) a deeper insight into whatever moral and emotional dilemma may be bothering them at the time. It’s a comfort, I suppose, to know that you haven’t suffered for nothing.

This week, Lush Linda was feeling a bit upset about giving her sister’s kids into the care of social services for their own good. Well, she couldn’t cope with them – marker penned insults are a beast to shift from the back of your uniform and it doesn’t look good on your CV when your family members keep borrowing babies from your workplace. It’s not like Linda hadn’t given the parenting thing a good go – she’d struggled with it for a whole episode before she made her decision. Lenny wasn’t convinced. Having been brought up in the care system himself, he wouldn’t wish it on anybody. Charlie, however, felt that Linda had made the best decision for the kids. Possibly he’s sampled Linda’s cooking and Lenny hasn’t.

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Casualty: Judgement calls

(Series 41, Ep.4) The word “judge” and variations thereof came up again and again in this episode. People were jumping to conclusions about people and situations, whether good or bad, and the message from old hands like Tess and Charlie was that judging is Not What We’re Here For.

Lovely Staff Nurse Faldren judged that newbie nurse Lloyd was a little bit too cocky and needed taking down a peg or several. A neat way to do this was to leave him to clear up an old man’s horribly abscessed leg. Tess was quite cross about that one when she found out, and Jay got a good telling off. This wasn’t before Lloyd had done a bit of judging himself (of a patient who seemed like a have-a-go-hero, but was actually a sad attention-seeker who’d shot himself with a nail gun – on several occasions), which ended up with him having a pair of scissors held to his neck and Jay having to bail him out.

Dr Zoe Hanna, meanwhile, was looking radiant despite looking like she should have gone to Specsavers – she was wearing nasty specs because she hadn’t had time to put her contact lenses in. It would be natural to assume this was because she’d been out on the lash and had dragged herself into work with a force 9 hangover, but actually she’d been sleeping in the on-call room and got disturbed for an emergency. We really shouldn’t judge Dr Zoe Hanna. The relationship between Zoe and Dr Dylan is coming along nicely. She likes a challenge, and she knows exactly how to play an arrogant and curmudgeonly man – Nick Jordan was excellent training for her in that respect.

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Casualty: Adam knows best

(Series 25, Ep.44) Last week, we were informed that Adam has a “god complex.” Frankly I’m not seeing it, myself. What I’m seeing is a doctor who’s trying to do the best for his patients and grappling with moral dilemmas. He doesn’t always choose the path through the moral dilemma that others would, but that’s the nature of moral dilemmas and it certainly doesn’t mean you’ve got a god complex.

Maverick Nurse Kirsty disagrees with me, because Adam is way more maverick than she is at the moment, and she’s not happy. This is the woman who used to enjoy testing rules to breaking point. Anyway, the moral maze in which Adam found himself this week concerned a man who was dying of mesothelioma, which he’d got by being in contact with asbestos from his father’s factory. He was about to testify in a law suit against the company, currently owned by his brother, Gary Kemp out of Spandau Ballet. Gary really needed the brother out of the way so he didn’t testify, and tried to persuade Adam that his patient didn’t want to be resuscitated. Adam saw through the handiness of this scheme, however, so Gary resorted to a spot of cyanide poisoning. This unlikely eventuality was spotted by Dr Dylan Keogh, and Gary ended up in the police station, and the brother lived just long enough to do his testimony via video link. Maverick Nurse Kirsty was cross that Adam chose to tell the brother that Gary had tried to kill him. “It wasn’t your call, Adam,” she told him. Technically, maybe not – but Adam’s actions seemed fairly sound to me.   Continue reading


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Casualty: What’s in the green bag, Adam?

(Series 25, Ep.42) Big Mac wasn’t a happy man when he was asked to add “deep cleaning of trolleys” to his already burdensome list of duties – doing the crossword, some impromptu gambling, joshing with Noel and a little light portering. It didn’t take long before you could see his point, though – resus was literally awash with gore, after a man threw up more blood than a man has a right to do and most of it ended up on the floor. You wouldn’t want to be the person deep cleaning that particular trolley.

The deep cleaning thing was part of yet another initiative designed by Henry to make life for casualty staff so much more difficult. Poor Lush Linda was struggling to cope with the added admin and mutinous staff, but she found an ally in Nick Jordan’s new PA, Emily (catchphrase: “I’m helpin’!”). Emily left at the end of the episode intent on becoming a nurse, and I hope that when she finishes her training – which will probably take three weeks in Holby time – she’ll be back at Holby (either upstairs in Holby City or downstairs in Casualty), because she was lovely.

Meanwhile, the programme information told us that “Adam’s God complex continues.” Continues? When did it start? Have I missed something? Anyway, this God complex was signalled in NICE BIG LETTERS by a recurring motif of Adam’s big, godlike eye peering through a glass at a little fly, over which he had the power of life or death. Subtle, huh? The patient over which he wielded this power was a paedophile, beaten up within an inch of his life by the father of one of his victims (this father was the man who was heaving up blood all over the floor in resus – so often we get two for the price of one with Casualty patients).

The paedophile’s mother was played by the radiantly gorgeous Denise Welch, but frankly that’s all he had going for him (and she didn’t like him either). He told Adam he couldn’t cope with the horrible impulses that made him behave the way he did, and said he wanted a way out. The power was in Adam’s hands – an ethical dilemma indeed.

Lennie wanted to be Adam’s wing man (“I’m your boss, not your friend,” said the ever-chirpy Adam), but he was a little concerned when Adam visited the pharmacy and obtained a small green bag of something or other. Was Adam planning to despatch the sex offender to the hereafter with a hypodermic? Well, no, he wasn’t. His God complex doesn’t go quite that far. Instead he provided the man with something hormonal to (hopefully) curb his urges, and released him back into the wilds of Holby. Let’s just hope we don’t hear of him again.

And, in case we missed the fly metaphor the first time, and the second, the episode closed with Adam’s big eye looking at the fly, and then Adam releasing it into the air. That’s just what Big Mac doesn’t need – a department crawling with flies while he’s trying to deep clean.

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Casualty: Ruth’s back! Charlie’s back! Mads is in danger!

(Series 25, Ep.36) If and when Charlie Fairhead ever dies, it will be necessary to have him stuffed and mounted in a glass case in the reception area of Holby City A&E department. Yes, it might freak out the patients a little bit, but it’s unthinkable that the place could run without him.

Having been ousted to the sunny heights of the Psych Ward for the duration of Dr Ruth Winters’ psychiatric illness (handy, that), Nick Jordan decided that, now Ruth was back, Charlie really ought to be back as well. Thus everyone will get the benefit of his uncanny ability to be reassuring while not making eye contact with the person he’s talking to (his eyes always seem to be watching an imaginary cricket match in the distance), and he’ll also be on hand to restrain Ruth if she goes off on one again. It’s a win-win situation.

It was a hell of a shift for Ruth to make her reintroduction to medical life. Henry (what is his job title, please? He’s sort of in charge when Hanssen is unavailable) had signed up to some scheme whereby Holby would alternate GP referrals with mythical “other Holby hospital” St James’s, but this had gone wrong so the ED was full of people who should really be at the other side of Holby. Mayhem. Throw in a deaf boy who’d swallowed a particularly vicious weedkiller, Henry’s daughter who’d been run over by a motorbike because she’s going blind and she hadn’t seen it coming, Adam being angsty (is this “again” or “still”?) and Mads asking if she could avoid contact with youngish male patients because her fiance was a bit traditional that way (Tess’s answer: “No.”), and you have a recipe for stress.    Continue reading


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Casualty: A fish called Jordan

(Series 25, Ep.35) The differences in management style between Nick Jordan and Miriam Turner were exemplified in their approach to the staff’s grief at the loss of Polly. Miriam, of the touchy-feely school of human resource management, declares an open-door policy. She wants the staff to pop in any time and unburden themselves, take a little time to mourn their loss. She doubtless has laid in several boxes of tissues just in case. There’s a book of condolence for them to sign.

“How is the open-door policy working for you?” Nick asks her, knowing full well that the door may be open but no-one is going through it. It’s not the Casualty way, which is to suck it up and get on with it, and Nick knows this.

However, it was Miriam who got the clinical lead job, so it’s Nick who had to pack up his bits and bobs and head for the exit. A nation of Casualty fans prepared to mourn yet another loss. Then a little miracle arrived in the form of a small boy with a self-inflicted banged-up thumb. He turned out to be Miriam’s step-grandson, who was there to try and reunite her with his father, her stepson, who has Parkinson’s and needs her support. Without consulting the stepson in question (whom she hadn’t seen for ten years), Miriam decided her family had greater need of her than her workplace, and she told Hanssen she was quitting.       Continue reading

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Casualty: It’s not what you’ve got, it’s who you are

(Series 25, Ep.32) So who’s the best clinical lead? Is it Nick Jordan, all designer suits, snappy put-downs and brusque, no-nonsense bedside manner? Or the warm, motherly Miriam Turner, who’ll go with you for your medical appointments and put £50 behind the bar on a night out?

I like both of them, but which one should get the job, if there’s only one job? There’s only one way to find out – vote. Yup, Henry and Hanssen decreed that what was needed was a staff popularity contest, with the winner being decided by secret ballot. The ways of the NHS (Holby-style) are many and mysterious indeed.

You could never accuse Nick Jordan of pandering to public opinion or going out of his way to make himself popular – quite the reverse. “In order to win a popularity contest you have to be popular,” Dr Zoe Hanna advised him, but even with hs job apparently on the line, he wasn’t going to compromise by actually being nice. So when a girl was brought into the ED with apparently all the symptoms of being very, very drunk, Nick wasn’t listening to her sister protesting that the girl hadn’t been drinking at all, and must have been drugged. His staff were cross with him. I was cross with him – we’d seen the girl’s orange juice being spiked earlier, so what was Nick playing at? It turned out that the girl’s sister was well-known to Nick for having such a severe alcohol problem that she was, in fact, dying of liver cirrhosis. And just at the point where you’ve thrown your hands in the air in despair at Nick’s lack of bedside manner, and Lenny has cast his vote in favour of Miriam, Nick manages to persuade the father of the two girls, who hasn’t spoken to his elder daughter for years, to donate part of his liver to her. A job well done in the interests of his patient, Nick Jordan-style.

And it turns out that, while a cuddly personality will take you a long way, the ED staff actually prefer the more curmudgeonly approach of Nick. He may be a tad cussed, but he also happens to be a genius, and when you’re up to your knees in blood, guts and trauma, that’s what you want.

Meanwhile, Jay was dealing with a patient with breasts. Continue reading


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