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HC Character

Serena Campbell

Played by Catherine Russell


S14 E29 ‘Coercion’ –

Job Title

Consultant General Surgeon

First Words

(to Malick) Oh nice man bag!


Ex-husband, Edward. One daughter Elinor (d.2017 of brain injury). Mother, Adrienne McKinnie (d.2014 of dementia/stroke). Nephew, Jason Haynes.


Charmingly candid and utterly professional, Serena has arrived at Holby to shake up the old order. Unlike many of her contemporaries she has an outstanding business brain. Equally at home in the boardroom or in theatre, she is an unapologetic achiever and fearless architect of change, wielding her iron fist in an exquisite velvet glove. Serena is a force to be reckoned with.

We first meet Serena when she bumps into Malick at the end of S14 E29, however she officially joins the team as Keller’s Consultant in S14 E30. Despite Malick’s warnings, Ric is convinced that he will be able to handle her but they immediately clash over a patient’s care. In S14 E31, Frieda is caught between Ric and Serena as they both jostle for theatre time. In S14 E33, Malick finds himself head to head against Serena over a particular case, but when she gives him full responsibility for the patient, he faces the pressure. In S14 E34, Ric’s unimpressed that Serena seems more interested in performing elective surgeries that caring for a vulnerable patient. But when they’re forced to work together in an emergency, it looks like the pair have finally called a truce. In S14 E40, Ric is concerned that Serena does not have patient Grace’s best interests at heart. He betrays Serena to the patient’s relative, and Hanssen. In S14 E41, Serena’s struggling to meet targets under Hanssen’s watchful eye and comes up with a scheme that will change the face of Holby. In S14 E42, Serena ploughs ahead with her plans for the modernisation of Holby as Michael struggles with the new rules. Malick is caught in the power struggle between Serena and Ric and who’s footsteps he should follow. In S14 E44, Emily, a young farmer, is brought in with serious injuries, the new non-referral system has Chrissie concerned. She clashes with Serena over getting Emily the right treatment, but earns Serena’s respect in the process. Serena mentions there is a nursing position going – she thinks Chrissie would be the perfect person. In S14 E46, Serena’s unimpressed when she discovers that a recovering alcoholic is the primary candidate for a liver transplant. But when it then appears that they are no longer suitable to receive the organ, she clashes with Ric and fights for her patient to be given a second chance. In S14 E50, tensions are high as Ric, Serena, Michael and George await the outcome of the report on Mr Mooney. Serena tries to get on with her day, introducing new streamlined treatment, which brings her into direct opposition with Ric. However, when a case turns out to be more complicated than expected and is forced to ask Ric for help.

In S15 E3, the arrival of new CT1 Lilah causes ripples in the AAU playground as Michael and Serena do battle for her respect. In S15 E5, Ric is caught between his patient and the future of Holby as Serena gears up to take over the running of the hospital in Hanssen’s absence. In s15 E7, Serena’s hoping that today’s her last shift on AAU, and is even more delighted when she discovers she’s worked with Imelda before. She throws herself into doing a good job, convinced she’ll be back on Keller in no time. But it turns out Serena’s memory hasn’t served her well and Imelda’s not who she thought she was. In S15 E13, when Serena learns Hanssen’s in his native Stockholm, where he’s trying to block a £40 million cash injection for Holby from Swedish pharmaceutical firm, Scandicor, she orders Jac to find him – and find out why. In S15 E14, Serena is running Holby like clockwork, but gets a shock when she sees that Hanssen has returned and is back in his role as director of surgery. She tries to prove herself to be worthy of being his second-in-command. In S15 E18, Serena finds herself professionally compromised when her mother, Adrienne is admitted to Holby. When she discovers that Adrienne will have to wait for her operation on the NHS, she contemplates going private. In S15 E20, after choosing to have her mother, treated on the NHS, Serena brings her back to Holby for a bowel operation. Having been on a waiting list for two weeks, Serena is eager for her mum to be seen as soon as possible. So she’s put out when Ric reveals Adrienne’s surgery will be delayed further to make way for another patient, Dawn, with bowel cancer. Adrienne eventually has her surgery and, as she recovers, overworked nurse Chantelle is instructed to do her hourly observations. But as she goes to check on Adrienne, she’s called away when Dawn deteriorates. While left unattended for two hours, Adrienne suffers a serious stroke. Angry, Serena tells Ric she wants to make an official complaint about her mother’s treatment. Next episode she is further irate when Adrienne’s transfer to the stroke ward is delayed. In S15 E25, an undercover journalist is treated by Serena and threatens to expose the legal action she is taking against her own hospital. Serena is forced to question her actions as she realises how easy it is to make mistakes under pressure. In S15 E28, Ric accepts Serena’s challenge to spend the day on a very busy AAU. Despite the rush, Ric vows to take things slow and dismisses many of Gemma‘s suggestions but when she stops him making a near-fatal error he’s grateful for her intervention. Later, Ric tells Serena his AAU experience was ‘invigorating’. In S15 E43, Serena gets a blast from the past when she discovers her ex-husband Edward is Holby’s new locum anaesthetist – and she’s most certainly not pleased to see him. Serena has bigger concerns that day as she treats Mr Capponi, who’s been brought to Holby with a badly infected leg, and they need to amputate to avoid blood poisoning. But when Serena and Edward disagree on how the patient should be anaesthetised, then Edward makes a comment to Malick about Serena wanting things her own way, she flips out! Edward quickly apologises and, later in theatre, he watches as Serena tries to calm a distressed Mr Capponi, who’s awake under epidural. After the operation, Edward reckons they should open some wine and bury the hatchet. In S15 E44, Serena finds out that she and Edward are attending the same medical dinner and becomes determined not to be seen without a date – but finding someone to go with her proves easier said than done. In S15 E45, Serena’s delighted to be performing a difficult operation that will be streamed live to surgical students. But when her mother is admitted to hospital she’s conflicted between her responsibilities as a daughter and her professional development and has to turn to ex-husband Edward for advice. In S15 E46, Serena’s feeling tense working alongside her smooth-tongued ex-husband. He enjoys making light of their unusual work set-up, but when she secretly looks through a bag delivered by courier from his wife, she realises he’s been economical with the truth.

In S16 E7, as Serena receives news that there’s been a roof collapse, a man arrives at Holby with two patients, Becca and Ewan, who have been skewered together by a metal pole. Serena gets a shock when the man introduces himself as new CEO, Guy Self. Serena struggles to accept Guy is Holby’s new boss and the pair clash on how best to treat Becca and Ewan. After the pair are successfully separated, Guy is forced to perform brain surgery on Becca – and he hasn’t operated in eight months! After making himself comfortable in Serena’s office, Guy gives a speech to the hospital staff and warns that changes are coming. In S16 E8, a suspected smuggler starts causing a stir on AAU, Serena is brought in to deal with him – but soon it’s not clear who’s handling whom. In S16 E9, Mary-Claire is devastated when she discovers that lover Edward is in the midst of reuniting with his ex-wife, Serena. Broken hearted that Edward stood her up for a date with his ex, Mary-Claire angrily suggests to the anaesthetist that if Serena found out he’d been sleeping with her, she wouldn’t be so keen to get back with him. But, with that, Edward turns nasty and threatens that if Mary-Claire reveals their affair, he’ll make sure she’s out of a job by Christmas. In S16 E11, Serena and Edward arrive at work full of festive romance after rekindling their relationship, but Mary-Claire’s annoyed he’s still trying to discredit her fearing Serena will find out about their recent affair and she puts him in a position where he’s forced to confess all. Next episode, still reeling from her break-up with Edward, Serena throws herself into her work to take her mind off things. In S16 E13, Serena’s angered when Edward surprises her with flowers in an attempt to win her back. But she’s determined not to let him make a fool of her again. She decides to attend an alumni dinner with Ric at his old university. In S16 E17, Serena’s furious when she’s sent to cover AAU, but soon strikes up a bond with a patient, who is none other than Harry‘s dad! When Billy Tressler presents her with a business opportunity, Serena thinks she’s finally found a way to prove her worth to Guy. But with her eye firmly on the prize, but Harry tries to heed Serena a warning that his father is not all he seems. In S16 E25, following the news that Connie has taken over as the new head of the ED, Serena enlists Adele‘s help to ensure all patients on AAU complete the new patient satisfaction survey. In S16 E28, Guy’s delighted to reunite his old friend and protégé Jesse Law, who’s interviewed by both Guy and Serena for the position of Holby’s new consultant anaesthetist. Jesse’s confidence doesn’t win over Serena, who’s particularly unimpressed to learn he was dismissed from his last job for getting too close to a patient. Jesse gets the job regardless and reveals his maverick side when he goes against Serena and champions risky surgery for a patient. In S16 E32, as she arrives late for work, Serena knows it’s going to be one of those days when she’s squirted by a kid with a water pistol, then boss Guy wants her to file a report sooner than expected. Serena quickly gets to work on the report but is then called away to treat patient Lennie, who’s fractured his shoulder falling out of a tree. Already with enough on her plate, Serena’s mum Adrienne then turns up – and she’s soon getting on her daughter’s nerves. Serena’s bad day gets worse when Lennie gets up onto the hospital roof and refuses to come down until his ex-wife assures him he can see more of his son Ben, who had squirted Serena with the water pistol. But as Ben makes his own way up onto the roof, tragedy strikes. Shattered from the day’s events and after a serious dressing down from Guy about the rooftop incident, Serena drowns her sorrows in a bottle of wine. In S16 E33, Adrienne, returns to Holby to visit the warden of her flats, Roger, who’s had a fall. Roger confides in Serena that his accident happened after Adrienne flooded her bathroom. In fact, not only did Adrienne forget to turn the taps off, she’d forgotten about even running a bath.Later, Adrienne accidentally gives Roger a drink containing soluble aspirin, which he’s allergic to, and he goes into life-threatening anaphylactic shock. After stabilising Roger, Serena has to admit her mum has dementia, and needs constant care. In S16 E40, when Serena’s mother’s carer calls in sick, she is forced to bring Adrienne into Holby. Later, as they head home, a confused Adrienne lashes out, leaving Serena with a cut lip. Adrienne’s unaware of what she’s done but Serena’s in no doubt her mum’s condition is going to get worse. In S16 E43, Serena’s mother takes a turn for the worse, but instead of receiving sympathy she finds herself confronted about it from all sides, as a patient challenges her methods of dealing with Adrienne, while Guy questions her ability to be a carer and a consultant at the same time. In S16 E50, fearing her mother’s had a mini stroke, Serena wants Adrienne treated on AAU, so Raf and Fletch agree to take over her care. As Raf examines Adrienne, however, she becomes agitated and Fletch realises why when he finds bruising on her arms. When Raf asks where she got her injuries from, Adrienne suggests Serena’s been abusing her. As Raf uncovers more bruises, Serena goes over to check everything’s OK with her mother’s treatment. As Adrienne shies away in her daughter’s presence, Fletch and Raf fear they’ll have to consider the possibility Serena’s been hitting her mother. When Adrienne then claims Serena’s stolen her jewellery, Raf confronts Serena, who’s upset when he suggests Adrienne’s bruises are defence wounds. But Raf soon realises Serena might be the one having to defend herself when Adrienne, still angry over her apparent missing rings, goes for Serena in a violent rage.

In S17 E3, Serena is determined to handle things calmly when her mother is brought in for treatment, but when her daughter Eleanor arrives wanting to know what’s wrong with her grandmother, once again the consultant’s personal and professional lives collide. In S17 E5, Serena is distraught that her mother no longer recognises her, so an old soldier helps bring them together. In S17 E6, when a confused Adrienne throws a tantrum on AAU, where she’s recovering from pneumonia, Serena takes her outside to calm down. There, in a moment of clarity, Adrienne tells Serena she’s tired of living with her deteriorating condition and asks if she’ll ‘pull the plug’ on her. Serena flatly refuses to help so, later, a lucid Adrienne tells Serena she wants to request a Do Not Resuscitate order – she doesn’t want to become completely senile and bed-ridden. As family, Serena can’t authorise the DNR order herself, so she confides in colleague Raf. He says he’ll verify Adrienne’s in a fit state of mind to make such a decision and then oversees as Adrienne signs the consent form. Later Adrienne suffers a severe stroke and dies. In S17 E7, Raf proves to be a good friend to Serena at a time of need. In S17 E8, Serena battles against the belt-tightening recommendations of the Holby board when chairman Angus Farrell comes down to AAU and starts advocating some fierce cuts. In S17 E10, when Serena learns that Raf and Harry still don’t know which of them fathered Amy‘s baby, she decides to lend a hand in getting the ball rolling. Amy confides in Serena that she wants to go ahead with the paternity test and Serena fast-tracks the results.

Memorable Moments

  • S14 E30 – Ric and Serena clash over a patient’s care
  • S15 E20 – Serena threatens to make a complaint over her mother’s treatment in AAU
  • S15 E43 – Serena discovers her ex-husband is the new Anesthetist at Holby
  • S16 E11 – Serena and Edward’s romantic reunion comes to an abrubt end
  • S16 E13 – Serena drowns her sorrows at Ric’s alumni party
  • S16 E32 – Serena faces a tough shift after a dressing down from Guy
  • S16 E50 – The team discover the extent of Adrienne’s condition
  • S17 E5 – An old soldier tries to bring Serena and Adrienne closer
  • S17 E6 – Adrienne dies after suffering a stroke

“I’m not a bloody Geisha!”

Pinterest – Serena Campbell – Catherine Russell

Love Interests

  • Edward Campbell
  • Angus Farrell
  • Robbie Medcalf
  • Bernie Wolfe

Extra Images

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