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HC Past Series

3.19 Private Lives, Public Faces – 20/3/01

S3 E19 (20 Mar 01) : Private Lives, Public Faces by Al Hunter Ashton

Episode Summary

Alex wakes up in bed. Sam is sleeping next to him. He gets up and looks at her with a faint air of surprise. As he starts to drag his clothes on, she wakes up.

Patrick Thompson is brought up from A&E by Chloe after undergoing rejection reactions from his heart and lung transplant. His parents, Geraldine and Sebastian accompany him. Sandy asks what he has been up to; it seems like he’s well known to the staff. Julie asks if he’s in pain, he seems snappy and impatient and asks for painkillers.

Alex receives a beep calling him to Patrick. Sam says good morning – he briefly and insincerely apologises for having to go and leaves.

Meyer is examining Patrick. He says Patrick needs to go to theatre and mentions that fluid is accumulating in his chest due to Patrick’s anti-rejection drugs, which have also caused damage to his liver.

Mike is staring in disbelief at a sculpture he bought for £500 at Anton’s charity auction the previous night. He felt pressured not to be the only consultant who hadn’t bought something. Alex arrives on the ward, still wearing his dinner jacket from the previous night. Julie tells him about Patrick.

Alex goes and talks to Patrick, then rushes off to theatre.

Sandy says the previous night was a waste of make-up: Alex stood her up after promising a drink with her.

Anil Banerjee, the anaesthetist is questioning Annabel Garston – a patient in for a gall bladder removal so he can prepare for her operation. Her boyfriend, Phil Hargreaves asks him why he’s asking so many questions, seeming nervous about the procedure.

Liam takes the blood pressure of Polly, another patient. She asks him when Anil will be coming to see her, saying she had three suzerain sections giving birth to ‘her boys’.

Anton gives Alex a mild rap on the knuckles for being late into theatre as well. He introduces Sam Kennedy as their new SHO, to Alex’s shock.

Anil puts Annabelle to sleep. Phil goes to a nearby waiting room.

Anton talks through Patrick’s medical history: a long litany of heart problems. He was operated on 3 times, the last being a heart and lung transplant six months ago which is being rejected. Sam coos over him, but Alex says the last thing Patrick would want is pity.

In Annabel’s operating theatre, Mike is talking about Anton’s auction last night. Tash asks if Anil has recovered from the bash but he responds that at least he didn’t get drunk enough to spend £500 on cheap porcelain. There is some light banter about the auction.

They start with the operation. Mike mentions that the operation is straightforward, saying that nurse practitioners will be doing it in a few years time. He adds a joke about it leaving him free for far more important operations and makes a start.

Alex opens Patrick up and asks for Sam’s diagnosis. She finds an infection producing pus.

Polly, meanwhile is going through Annabelle’s things; she takes a box of chocolates and a magazine. She tries to talk to Annabelle’s Phil, who isn’t very talkative. Annabelle is wheeled in from theatre. Mike tells her Phil that the operation went fine and he’ll be back to check on her. Her Phil tries to wake her up but Kath discourages him, saying she’ll come around after a while. He seems eager to find she’s alright. From across the ward, Polly loudly complains that her bed is lumpy and asks to be moved.

Meyer and Alex are finishing Patrick’s operation but Meyer says the outlook is bad – there isn’t anything they can do other than make him comfortable. Meyer asks Sam to close him up. Alex asks if he can break the news to Patrick because of the rapport they have built up.

Kath and Liam turn Polly’s mattress but it is still not to her liking – apparently ‘her boys’ will have something to say about it. Phil tells them they need to talk to Annabelle – something is amiss and Liam goes to get Mike.

Sam talks to Alex, saying she doesn’t mind not shadowing him if he doesn’t want to. Alex says he doesn’t mind, providing she doesn’t tell anyone about them sleeping together. He asks if she knew whom he was when they were together last night and she says yes, but she didn’t want to say anything.

Annabelle, in tears, says she was awake throughout the operation but unable to move – and felt all the pain of the operation. She recalls part of Mike and Tash’s conversation. Mike apologises profusely and Kath tries to comfort her. Mike says he will be starting an internal inquiry and Phil angrily goes to phone a solicitor.

Polly tells Liam that she won’t have her operation after what happened to Annabelle. Liam tries to change her mind, but she remains stubborn and says she will phone ‘her boys.’

Patrick tries to be comforted by his parents. Hedley, a friend of Patrick’s arrives: Julie and Patrick’s parents leave to give them some space. Patrick tells him about the operation and Hedley tells him about the girl he bedded last night.

Anil angrily denies that anything went wrong with Annabelle’s operation – he says he would have noticed and blames equipment error. Mr Meyer says that there will be a clinical enquiry and that all operations in Mike’s theatre have been cancelled so that the equipment can be checked over. Mrs Hodges, the legal advisor says that Phil has hired Jason Atwell, a local lawshark.

Tash tells Anil that he needs to make sure nothing gets into the newspaper and Mike advises him to get onto his union. Once he has gone, Tash tells Mike that Anil was drinking fairly heavily last night and wonders if he was fit to perform the operation and asks Mike to talk to him about it.

Alex tells Patrick the bad news – he is dying. His parents take the news with shock – his mother starts to cry. Patrick seems laid back about things – he doesn’t think it was unexpected. Alex says he doesn’t have much longer to live, and leaves. Patrick asks to tell Hedley. Alone. His mother is reluctant – she wants to stay with him but storms out on the verge of tears.

Outside, Hedley asks Patrick’s mother if she is alright – she snaps the bad news at him.

Alex tells Sam that Patrick’s mother had always been expecting Patrick to get better. Sam asks Alex if he felt the same (hope for the best, expect the worst as Meyer would say) and wonders if he got too emotionally attached to Patrick. Alex asks her not to talk about that sort of thing infront of the nurses and again tells her not to spread around the news of their encounter the previous night. She says she won’t tell anyone. They go to do their ward round. Julie asks Alex if they’ve been sent another weirdo – Alex says she’s a bit of an unknown quantity at the moment.

Jason the lawyer is talking to Annabelle. She recites the conversation in the theatre almost word for word. She also talks about his comment about nurses doing that sort of operation – Mike protests that it’s being taken completely out of context.

Hedley arrives in Patrick’s room. Patrick quips that “Apparently, after due consideration, they’ve decided to let me die.” He asks for his sponge bag, takes a bottle from it and swigs.

Jason says that they will be asking for large compensation. Mrs Hodges says that it was bad enough that she was awake, let alone that she had to listen to Mike’s conversation. Meyer says the content of the conversation was not at issue – but Annabelle’s suffering was. Mike is angry at the implication that he wanted to make a patient suffer. When Mrs Hodges has gone, Meyer rebukes Mike, saying he expects more decorum in future.

Hedley becomes suspicious that Patrick has overdosed on the Morphine to commit suicide and goes to get someone but Patrick protests and he stays. He says he’s doing it for his parents as well, being fed up of seeing his mum so upset. Patrick falls unconscious and Hedley comes to get help. Alex comes to resuscitate him and berates Hedley for letting him take it.

Sandy tells Anton about Patrick, Alex is still trying to revive Patrick. Under Meyer’s direction, he comes back. Meyer says they have only succeeded in making a weak heart weaker.

The inspection report comes back – all the equipment is fine, to Anil’s anger. He thinks his career is over now. He says he should have seen changes in Annabelle if the anaesthetic hadn’t worked.

Polly returns Annabelle’s (mostly eaten) sweets. She seems in pain. Annabelle tells Polly she should go in for her operation and that what happened to herself was a one-off. Liam comes along and takes Polly back to her bed, giving her a tape to listen to. Annabelle tells Liam that her pain is getting worse and that she is having problems breathing. Polly tells Liam that she is going to go home.

Alex is sitting by Patrick’s bed when he wakes up. Patrick’s mum asks to see him, saying she wants to take him home because she doesn’t want him to die in hospital. Her dad asks if he will make it home at all.

Meyer is examining Annabelle – she has a pneumothorax as a result of gas pumped in during the operation becoming trapped in her chest due to an abnormality in her diaphragm. Meyer takes her to theatre to sort it. Tash asks to assist.

Alex is still talking with Patrick. He says he wants to get out of the hospital. He says he wants to die but Alex refuses. Alex says it will affect his parents – he reveals that his sister killed herself. She was falling behind at med school and couldn’t cope. Alex says he wonders if there were thinks he could have done differently – but that’s how Patrick’s family will feel, wondering if they could have prevented it. But Patrick’s mind is unchanged. He says he will get the hospital psychiatrist to see him and detain him. Patrick shouts at Alex – he should stop trying to save him.

Polly finds Annabelle’s walkman and has a listen. She says the music is rubbish and passes it over to Kath.

Alex makes some coffee. Julie asks about his sister and wonders if he wants to talk about it – he politely declines. Sam arrives and Julie leaves. She again talks about the previous night.

Mike has beaten Anil at table football 10-0. Anil is still waiting for the legal adviser to arrive. Mike talks to him about him drinking last night, but Anil protests that he was fully sober and storms out as Kath brings in the tape from Annabelle’s walkman.

Anton finds Alex again, who tells him he asked the psychiatrist about Patrick. Meyer, annoyed, tells Alex it was Meyer’s job to do that. Mike and Tash breeze into the room, saying they have an announcement.

Tash asks if Mike will accept £500 for his sculpture. He gladly accepts, just before she tells him that it will be worth much more in a few years. Anton says his own doubled in value in five years.

In Annabelle’s room, Anil brings out a tape player, playing a tape with the conversation from inside the theatre recorded on it – they had bugged the theatre and Annabelle had been asleep after all. Annabelle says it was Phil’s idea – he arrested for the DHSS and arrested her for fraudulently claiming dole money, only agreeing to drop the charges if she participated in his scam.

Patrick tells Anton that he won’t commit suicide again, saying Alex had made him realise what it would do to his family. Meyer says he will discharge him, but Alex didn’t believe Patrick – he thinks he is still suicidal. Meyer says that if Patrick was sectioned he would spend what little lifespan he had left on a psychiatric ward, which he does not want. He sharply tells Alex that the matter is closed before he can respond.

Sam tells Julie she didn’t think Alex was being very professional.

Hedley comes to see Patrick again. Sandy reluctantly leaves them alone. Patrick tells Hedley he wants to get it over with and was sorry for dragging Hedley into it. Hedley tries to discourage him. He jokes that looking after a cripple is his best chat-up line. Patrick says he’ll be around for a while.

Anil offers to buy everyone a drink to celebrate stopping Phil’s scam (one coke and six straws).

Sam tries to talk to Alex, telling him about the drinks at the bar. Alex isn’t really in the mood. She says that from now on they are just colleages and apologises for messing him around that day.


Patrick Thompson (heart/lung transplant rejection) – operated (Meyer, Adams Kennedy) but untreatable. No longer considering suicide.

Annabelle Garston (gall bladder removal) – attempted anaesthetic scam failed.

Polly (last name unknown) (femoral hernia) – operation pending.

Notable Facts

* Judy Loe plays Geraldine Thompson.

* Mike comments that Anton’s research foundation is investigating gene therapy – perhaps there is more to the man that surgery after all?

* Probably Kulvinder Ghir’s only major appearance as Anil Banerjee the anaesthetist, so make the most of it.

(Will Watson)

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