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S15 E27

S15 E27 (24 Feb 01) : Breaking Point by Isabelle Grey

Episode Summary

Andrew arrives in A&E, and tells Dan that Duffy’s stable now, and that he’s just been home to let the boys know what’s going on. Charlie asks Andrew if it’s OK for him to go up to see Duffy on the ward later on, and Andrew says of course it is. Charlie asks if everything’s OK, and Andrew asks why wouldn’t it be. Andrew goes up to see Duffy. She tells him he doesn’t have to stay, but he says he’d rather stay there with both of them. He tells her that although until this happened he wasn’t sure that the baby was a good idea, now he is, and he wants the baby as much as she does. Duffy won’t accept this. She says that the pregnancy took her by surprise but that she decided that she wants it – whatever Andrew decides to do. Duffy asks him if he wants her enough to want the baby too. As she is waiting for an answer, Charlie arrives with some flowers. Andrew gets up, saying he’ll find a vase for the flowers, and leaves. Charlie asks how Duffy is. She says she’s tired but that the baby will be fine. Charlie says he hopes Andrew’s looking after her. Duffy says there’s a lot that she and Andrew have to sort out, then changes the subject by asking Charlie how he’s feeling about Louis. Charlie tells Duffy she was right, and that the money he spent on the courts would have been better going on a plane ticket to Canada. He says that once the house is sold he’ll have nothing to remind him that he ever had Louis with him. Duffy says he won’t forget Louis that easily. He says he really misses him. Charlie apologises for talking to Duffy about this. Andrew returns with the flowers and Charlie leaves.

It’s Shirley Warner’s birthday, and she’s taking her son Rick go-carting. They have a French exchange student, Jean-Claude Tournier, staying with them and he goes with them although he’s not feeling well after drinking too much the night before. When they arrive at the go-karting centre, Jean-Claude throws up on the side of the car. Jean-Claude doesn’t want to spoil their day, so Shirley suggests that he sits and watches them race for a while until he feels better. As they are racing, Jean-Claude collapses. An ambulance is called and he is taken to Holby A&E. It appears that he is diabetic; Shirley says she had no idea. Rick blames his mother for not bringing in Jean-Claude straight away. He wants her to phone Jean-Claude’s parents to let them know, but Shirley says it would be better if Rick did it, as he speaks French. Rick says they need to hear it from a grown-up. He says that since his dad left he’s had to do everything himself, adding that she’s hardly a grown-up herself. He goes to the phone and starts to speak to Mme Tournier, but Shirley takes the phone off him and tells her herself.

Patrick phones Holly at home, making sure she’s OK. She says she is but that she’s late, and hangs up. Later the phone rings again. The caller says, “Did you sleep well last night? I hope you slept well.” He hangs up when Holly asks who it is. She dials 1471 but the number was withheld. She phones the operator to try to trace the call. She goes out to her car and finds a rose locked inside. She arrives late for work, and tells Max and Patrick about the rose in her car, saying she couldn’t face driving it so she walked to work. Max says he’ll have a word with security.

Wendy Atkinson is brought in by Josh and Penny; she called an ambulance after falling. She has chest pains. She asks Barney to let the consultant know she is there, saying that her late husband was a well-known thoracic surgeon. She asks him to phone her daughter Heather, and comments on the state of his scrubs, which were ripped earlier when Patrick took a pen from his pocket. Max arrives to examine her, and notices that her bruises are a few days old; when he comments on this she says that she fell four days ago but didn’t feel the pain until last night, and then didn’t want to bother people until this morning. She complains to Max about Barney’s scrubs, but Max says he’d rather the nurses look scruffy but had their minds on their jobs than be too busy worrying about whether their caps were straight to do their job properly. Wendy’s daughter Heather arrives, and Wendy says she doesn’t need her. Heather asks why she didn’t say anything earlier. Wendy says that Heather’s always so busy. Heather asks if there’s anything she can do, but Wendy says crossly that there isn’t. Heather walks out. Talking to Barney, she mentions that Wendy had a pulmonary embolism a few months ago. Max asks Wendy why she didn’t mention it. Max suspects she may be having another pulmonary embolism. He asks if her GP has been monitoring her dosage of Wharfrine. Wendy says no – she couldn’t face all the fuss. Heather tells Barney that maybe the reason she didn’t tell them about her PE was because she wanted attention as she’s lonely since her husband died. Heather says she didn’t realise her mother missed him so much as he was never there. Max does a chest X-ray and finds out that although there are no signs that she’s had another PE, there’s a large mass which could be cancer. He tells Wendy. She needs to go up to a ward, but there is a shortage of beds due to many people suffering smoke inhalation from a fire the night before. Wendy has to wait in a corridor.

Penny watches Colette and Josh talking. When Josh leaves, she tells Colette not to get any romantic ideas about Josh. Colette, puzzled, asks Amy if something is going on between Josh and Penny. Amy says that Penny is just protective of Josh, and tells her how he lost his family. She adds that a new relationship is probably the best thing that can happen to Josh right now. Penny has a letter from Oxfordshire, the place she wrote to as the last address she had of her father. She is nervous about opening it, but eventually does so. It’s not from her father, but the people who live at the address now knew him and have sent on another address. Penny is afraid it might turn into a wild goose chase.

Colin Parsons comes into A&E complaining about pain from his ankle. He injured it a few weeks ago but was told it wasn’t broken and was sent home. Holly examines him and gets an X-ray done; she tells him that it looks as if there was a fracture which they must have missed before, but that it has healed itself and there should be no cause for pain. Colin isn’t happy and asks to see the consultant. Holly tells Max, who is angry that she told him the hospital made a mistake. As Colin is waiting, he speaks to Wendy. He tells her that he’s a teacher, and that the kids get him down as they are so rude and don’t respect him. One day one boy was trying to steal a school computer; he dropped it on his foot, injuring himself, and then his parents sued the school for not supervising him properly – what’s more, they won the case. He complains that everyone thinks they’re owed. Max arrives and Colin threatens to sue the hospital. He limps as he walks, and Wendy tells Max that he wasn’t limping a moment ago. Colin insists that it hurts, and that he has every right to sue. Max leaves to treat an emergency. Heather comes back. Colin, after watching an RTA victim being wheeled past, goes back to Wendy and says perhaps he should think himself lucky. Wendy agrees, and Colin walks away. A cubicle is freed and Barney moves Wendy back into it. Heather says that maybe she would have liked to be one of her dad’s patients, as she herself was jealous of his patients. Wendy admits there were times when she used to wish she was his patient, just so she could have his full attention for a while.

Dan asks to speak to Charlie about new budget strategies. Charlie says it isn’t a good time as the department is extremely busy, but Dan insists. He tells Charlie he’ll have to cut down on agency nurses. Charlie says they’re understaffed as it is, and he’s sick and tired of his staff being put under this kind of pressure. Dan says he’s doing everything he can to free up beds; Charlie says he’ll have to try harder. Later Charlie goes to complain to Dan about the overstretched department. Dan says he should have some beds in an hour. Charlie says they haven’t got an hour. He says it’s not just the bed crisis, it’s the effect of the pressure on his staff. He says that Duffy’s illness could have been caused by the stress of the major incident plan exercise. He says that if Dan had consulted him about it, Duffy wouldn’t have taken any part in the exercise. Dan asks what would happen if a real major incident occurred, and says that it’s Duffy’s choice to be working still. He tells Charlie that he’s doing his best to free beds. Charlie says that soon he’ll have no other choice but to close the department to new cases.

Joe Bickman was brought to A&E after experiencing chest pains whilst running in a race. He had a tracheotomy four years ago but still finds the breath to run. He doesn’t feel ill and when he hears the staff discussing the overfull department he feels he’s taking up their attention unnecessarily. He gets up and leaves, but collapses in the car park.

Charlie goes to ask Amy to inform people they’ll have a long wait. He finds that her son Milo is with her in reception – the childminder had a dentist’s appointment. Charlie just says, “Today of all days!” He goes through to resusc, where victims from a severe RTA are arriving. He calls Max and Colette and tells them that they’re in no state to deal with any more trauma patients so he’s going to close the department. They agree, but Max asks Charlie if he’s consulted Dan. Charlie replies that Dan will find out soon enough.

Dan goes up to ITU and insists that Dr. Hutchinson who is in charge reassess all of his patients to see if any can be moved. Dr. Hutchinson eventually does so, but tells Dan that no one can be moved. Dan says that two patients could be moved to CCU, adding that he used to be a nurse on ITU himself so he wouldn’t move a patient if it couldn’t be done. Dr. Hutchinson says that if Dan can find two beds on CCU, the patients can be moved. Dan sets off across the car park, and finds Joe Bickman. He calls for help, and starts mouth-to-mouth. He realises that nothing’s happening, and wonders why. He opens Joe’s coat, sees the hole in his throat from the thoracotomy, and blows into that instead. Paramedics arrive and put him on a stretcher; Dan does cardiac massage as they take him to A&E. Colette tells him that Charlie has closed the department. Patrick tells Dan to leave Joe with them. Dan yells at Colette to send Charlie to him straight away.

Additional Cast

* Elyes Gabel plays Jean-Claude Tournier

Guide by Alison.

UK Viewing Figures


Screencaps : S15 E27

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