Tess Bateman

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Played by Suzanne Packer

Appearance

S18 E1 ‘End of the Line (Part One)’ – S29 E45 ‘Forsaking all Others (Part One)’; S30 E1 ‘Too Old for this Shift’

Job Title

S18: Emergency Nurse Practitioner
S19-current: Clinical Nurse Manager

Family

Husband, Mike (divorce in Series 20), son Sam

First Words

This patient’s been here for 2 and a half hours and is still compromised in SVT

Background

Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Tess Bateman, is confident, experienced and good at her job. She’s a traditionalist and is keen to maintain the standards she was taught at nursing college. It’s her job to keep the numbers down and her appointment in Holby reflects the real-life move towards recruiting more nurse practitioners in NHS hospitals. She gets on well with Harry and Charlie, but is likely to clash with Simon, who doesn’t always tow the line. She also struggles with Abs’ unconventional and laidback work ethic. Tess is married to fireman, Mike, and in Series 18 has to cope when he is suspended from work due to decisions at the train crash site which cost some of his colleagues their lives.

In her first episode of S18 E1, as news of a train crash reaches the emergency department, Tess takes control of clearing space to prepare for the inevitable rush. Meanwhile her husband, fire chief Mike Bateman and Josh take care of the situation at the scene, as ambulance and buses arrive at the embankment. In S18 E2, Tess has been waiting for news of Mike, but is not reassured by his call confessing that, as a fire chief, he feels responsible for the death of his colleagues. She manages to talk him round but an official structural engineer implies Mike has been negligent. In S18 E3, Tess insists that a full-time psychiatric nurse would help prevent future attacks on staff after nurse Roxy is attacked. Mike later arrives at the hospital to tell Tess that he has been suspended from his job because some of his team died due to a decision he had made. In S18 E5, new psychiatric liaison nurse Abs Denham arrives and sets to work immediately. Later in the day, a second nurse, also called Abs, presents himself at reception. Tess is confused and resolves to discover the identity of the real nurse Abs. She finds out that a psychiatric patient of the genuine Abs has stolen his identity and is trying to pass himself off as a nurse. Eventually the situation is resolved as Abs proves himself with great professionalism. He even manages to win Tess’s approval, despite emptying the store cupboard and claiming it as his office. In S18 E6 manic patient Sarah Jensen causes disruption and Tess gets impatient. Abs detects a cry for help, however, and invests time in calming her down. But he later doubts his competence when she overdoses on lithium tablets and ends up in intensive care. In S18 E7, Mike comes to tell Tess that he has resigned because of his guilt over the death of his colleagues. Tess is worried about how they will cope without his salary. In S18 E10, Bex sees Roxy rushing around and accidentally blurts out that she should be careful “in her condition”. Unfortunately, Tess overhears and guesses she is pregnant. The department is very busy and the state of hygiene is appalling. After complaints, Tess sneakily arranges an interview for Mike. His pride is hurt but the reluctant interviewee gets the job as hospital cleaner. In S18 E20, everyone is fed up of Harry bullying Lara and Tess notices that it is affecting the efficiency of the whole department. Lara confronts him about his endless sniping and snide comments that contain veiled reference to her professionalism. In the showdown that follows, she accuses him of being vindictive and warns that he will be reported by Tess if matters are not resolved. He is broken and admits that he just wants them to be close again. In S18 E24, Luke is disgusted when Fin admits he lost it with Comfort and hit her, but still offers him a bed at his place. Fin apologises to Comfort, saying he hates himself for what he did, but she turns to Tess as a shoulder to cry on. Tess is fuming and unrelenting and tells Fin to back off when he tries to speak to Comfort. In S18 E32, Tess and Jim are furious at Abs when a past patient returns as a consequence of Abs’s misleading advice. In S18 E35, Abs returns to work following his beating. Tess notices confidence is low and suggests he finishes his shift early.

In S19 E2, the team are involved in a case involving two missing children. When the boy is brought in, Abs notices similar bruising to that of a rape victim, Mel, who is also in the department. Tess, loses her cool and bursts into the examination room and shouts at Mel, telling her to help the police or the young girl may never be found. In S19 E5, interviews for the new receptionist take place at the hospital. Tess’s son, Sam, has applied for the job but she warns him not reveal that she is his mother. Bex takes a shine to him and both women are pleased when they discover he has got the job. In S19 E6, it is Sam’s first day on reception. He turns up late and spends the day chatting to the friend of a patient. When Tess reprimands him in front of Bex, he reveals that she is his mother. In S19 E7, Tess supports Comfort, when Fin goes missing. In S19 E11, it is the day of Fin’s funeral, and Comfort tells Tess she is unsure whether to keep the baby. During the funeral, Fin other ‘wife’ and son turn up, she screams at them to leave. Tess, however, allows them to stay on conditions. In S19 E12, following her pregnancy scare, Comfort discharges herself from hospital. She tells Tess she has decided to keep the baby but asks her not to tell anyone. Later, Josh tells Comfort she can come back to work, but Tess is concerned about the baby. In S19 E13, Tess tells Sam he must stop irritating Bex and that he needs to take his job more seriously. In S19 E15, Abs catches Sam on the ward helping a patient with a bloody nose. Abs shouts at him, telling him he should not be looking after patients and that his actions are making the man’s condition worse. Tess overhears, but Sam says he does not care about the job and is going for a break. When Tess asks Abs not to say anything about Sam, and says that she will deal with him, Abs relents. In S19 E16, Tess goes to Comfort’s flat after work and, when there’s no answer, she tries to use her key, but it doesn’t work. Eventually, Ruth answers and tells her Comfort no longer lives there and slams the door in her face. Tess calls Comfort, telling her she knows that Ruth is living in her flat. She then goes to see Comfort at the B&B where she is staying and says she must come and stay with her. In S19 E18, Bex tells Tess that she cannot take Selena’s bullying any longer. In S19 E19, when Sam finds Comfort and Fin’s marriage certificate, he scribbles all over it. Outraged, Comfort screams at Sam but Tess intervenes, telling her never to speak to her son like that again. Later, Tess asks Sam if he drew on the certificate but he denies it and says Comfort is lying. In S19 E20, Comfort is brought in as she experiences stomach pains. Tess and Harry fight to save her baby but it dies. In S19 E21, Tess asks Sam why he defaced Comfort’s marriage certificate. Sam replies that she should not have left it lying around and that the reception is a mess. He says he will tidy up all the files before Bex arrives. Tess says that he has not been himself lately but he tells her to leave him alone. Tess also arranges compassionate leave for Comfort so she can spend time in Barbados with Fin’s father. In S19 E22, Tess finds Ellen sleeping in the locker room, she tells her that Abs has thrown her out. Sam continues to act strangely and delete computer files. Tess catches him burning patient records in a skip outside the hospital. They fight over the files and she demands to know what is going on. He rambles on about too much information being dangerous so he must destroy the records. Tess is horrified, she finally realises something is seriously wrong. In S19 E23, Tess helps out with the paperwork behind reception whilst Sam is off sick with the flu. After treating a mentally ill patient she breaks down to Abs about Sam. She tells him he does not have flu – she thinks he has a mental illness. Abs comforts her and says he will go and see Sam tomorrow. When Tess gets home she finds Sam lying on the bedroom floor – he tells her he wanted to lie there as he felt it was the safest place to be. In S19 E24, Abs goes to see Sam at his house, he is clearly deluded and is hearing voices. Abs tries to tell Tess but she is in denial – believing he is acting like a normal teenager. She also tries to sort out Ellen after discovering her work permit has run out. In S19 E25, Tess confides in Abs that she thinks Sam may have a mental illness. Abs pulls in some favours and arranges for a psychiatrist to see Sam the following day. When she arrives home Tess lets Sam know he will be seeing a psychiatrist; however, he is unresponsive and just stares vacantly. Later that evening her husband Mike arrives home from the oil rigs – Tess tells him about Sam and he is angry that she has not told him before and that his break from work will not be as relaxing as he thought. In S19 E26, Tess and Mike take Sam to see the psychiatrist, Sam tells him he has thought about suicide. The doctor says he wants to admit Sam into hospital for a few days for further tests – it is too early to make a diagnosis at the moment. Sam begs not to go but Tess tells him it is for the best. Mike is angry with Tess for not telling him about Sam and they argue – Mike storms off. Later, Nina and Comfort are called to attend to a car crash – Mike is the driver. He is taken to the hospital seriously ill, Tess is devastated. In S19 E27, Mike, is still in a critical condition and Harry advises her that she should allow them to turn off his life support machine. As she keeps vigil by his bedside, she prays for a miracle. Later, it appears that her prayers have been answered; Harry says that Mike has not deteriorated at all, and that he has never seen anything like it in his life. In S19 E28, Mike, is showing signs of getting better; he is awake, but paralysed, and asking Tess to take him home. She confides in Harry that she will not be able to cope. In S19 E29, Tess is in a dilemma about whether to tell Sam about his father. She goes to see Sam at the hospital and although the doctor advises her not to she tells him that Mike has been in a serious accident. Sam does not seem to fully understand what is going on but asks if he can visit Mike. In S19 E31,There is friction between Tess and Comfort when Tess announces she is bringing Sam home from the psychiatric unit. Comfort is not alone in her concern, as the psychiatric nurse advises caution, but Tess is determined that with Mike still in hospital, she needs her son home now more than ever. Sam feels ready to be home; he understands now that he was ill, and he knows it’s going to be difficult for them all to adjust, and tells Tess that she has to learn to trust him again if this is going to work. In S19 E32, Tess is proud of how Sam handles a situation involving a patient, who attends the psychiatric unit he also went to. In S19 E33, Sam is back at work and feeling out of his depth but Bex and Tess help him through a tough first day. In S19 E36, Tess has got the nurses wearing scrubs as she is fed up with them getting harassed by men leering at their dresses. Later, Charlie cannot find some patient records. He tells Tess he will ask Sam about it but she tells him not to. Tess speaks to Sam about the files, he asks if they are missing because of his illness. She reassures him, but he is clearly worried. Tess tells Charlie Sam destroyed the files when he was ill. Charlie cannot understand how this can have happened and clearly disapproves. In S19 E37, Sam worries to Tess about what Charlie will say about him destroying the files when he was ill. Tess asks Charlie if he has decided what to do yet, Charlie says no. Later he tells them he was disappointed in Tess for lying for Sam but then thought as a parent he probably would have done the same thing. He has therefore decided not to take action. Tess and Sam are overjoyed. In S19 E48, a girl called Fleur comes into the hospital with her boyfriend who has a septic tattoo. Fleur flirts with Sam, much to Tess’s disapproval. When her boyfriend dumps her, Fleur gives her number to a delighted Sam.

In S20 E1, a rescue team are sent to the scene of an building collapse where Asylum Seekers are living. Tess is amongst the team and when she goes to investigate a baby’s cry, she falls down the shaft with fireman, Lance. Next episode in S20 E2, Tess and an unconcsious Lance are trapped in the mine shift, along with asylum seeker Mero, and other casualties. Mero tries to keep their sprits up and forms a close bond with Tess. Mero finds the baby that Tess heard crying alive. Lance has a serious pelvic injury but Mero’s friend dies. The rescue workers manage to find a way down and pull Tess and the others out to safety, but Mero, who is last out, falls down the shaft. Tess is hysterial and clings to Sam. At the hospital, she is in shock and cannot believe Mero is dead. She has an emotional talk with his father. However, Mero is later brought in alive and the pair are reunited. In S20 E3, Tess is angry that Fleur is distracting Sam at work. Tess asks Sam to go to lunch with her but he sneaks off with Fleur instead. In S20 E4, Tess asks Sam to stop seeing Fleur, but on Comfort’s advice she later invites Fleur to dinner. In S20 E6, it is Sam’s 19th birthday and Fleur has arranged a party at Tess’s house. However, Tess is shocked to get home and find disco lights and DJ decks. When she warns Fleur that they cannot have loud music because of the neighbours, Fleur flies off the handle. Later, she pours Tess a glass of wine and apologises. Tess drinks but becomes disorientated and dizzy, collapsing on the floor. She calls out for help to Fleur, who stands above her, holding a kitchen knife. In S20 E7, Abs is suspicious when he cannot get through to Tess. He speaks to a psychiatric nurse who warns him that Fleur is extremely devious. Sam returns home and Fleur tells him Tess is drunk and passed out so she has cancelled the party. When he hears Tess fall off the bed he worries and wants to call for help. Fleur confesses she has drugged Tess and lies saying that Tess wanted to section Sam. Abs, Nina and Sarah arrive and when they force their way in, Fleur barracades her, Sam and Tess in the bedroom and tries to persuade Sam to take an overdose with her. Abs manages to gain entry to the room as Fleur tries to kill Tess. In S20 E14, Tess and Maggie aren’t impressed with Bruno’s attempts to beat the new tracking system. In S20 E27, Sam tells Tess that he is going to be an HCA, she is concerned that he is not ready to take on such responsibility but he says he’s adamant and tells her he’s not asking for her permission. In S20 E29, Tess is concerned Sam may not be up for the emotional challenges of the job when he becomes upset over a case. In S20 E31, Tess asks Sam to help new receptionist Alice settle in. In S20 E35, following her 4 week trial, Alice is sure she won’t be up for the permenant receptionist role. Sam coaches Alice on how to impress Tess and she is thrilled to learn the job is hers. In S20 E37, Ellen, who has been hiding her cancer from her colleagues, is brought in after collapsing. Tess is shocked to see her but attempts to conceal her identity on the ward. In S20 E42, Tess and Nathan clash over the new cleaning company as the emergency department is in such a mess. Nathan wants to cut costs but pays the price when he pricks his finger on a discarded needle. In S20 E44, Tess visits the rehab clinic where her husband, Mike, is and tells Sam that he is being discharged, however Sam doesn’t look overly impressed by the news. In S20 E45, Sam tells Tess that he is going to live at Kelsey’s and that he doesn’t want to live with his dad when he comes home. Tess is shocked and hurt but, after a terrible day at work, Maggie persuades her to go bowling with the girls. Tess admits that she, too, is unsure if she wants Mike to come home. In S20 E46, Tess is devastated when Sam tells her he’s moved out and Mike says he wants a divorce. She visits a bar to drown her sorrows and returns to work, tipsy, where Abs tries to cover for her.

In S21 E6, Tess is unimpressed when she discovers Kelsey and Alice’s alphabet game. In S21 E23, Dixie makes an enemy of Tess when she says she will leave a patient on the floor unless he is seen, when they have been waiting too long to admit him.

“I was born to fuss so why don’t you indulge me

Memorable Moments

  • S18 E5 – Tess has problems with the new psychiatric nurse
  • S18 E10 – Tess gets her husband an interview for a cleaner job.
  • S19 E20 – Tess supports Comfort when she loses her baby.
  • S19 E26 – Tess’s husband is involved in a car crash.
  • S20 E1/ S20 E2  – Tess befriends an asylum seeker when they become trapped following a building collapse.
  • S20 E6 – Dangerous Fleur drugs Tess at Sam’s birthday.
  • S20 E46 – Tess drowns her sorrows when Mike asks for a divorce and Sam moves out.
  • S29 E4 – Tess undergoes a strict new regime and is under pressure to make Charlie retire.
  • S29 E43 – Louis steals Tess’ crucifix to buy heroin.
  • S29 E44 – With the arrival of her son, Sam and her grandson – Tess decides to quit Holby to start a new life in Leeds.

Love Interests

  • Mike Bateman
  • Fletch

Gallery : Tess Bateman

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