It was the day many people had been dreading, as Casualty’s beloved Duffy (Cathy Shipton), decided it was time to give up nursing. She was recently diagnosed with dementia and initially took the decision to keep going as long as possible, raising awareness of the condition by refusing to let it limit or define her.
At the start of this episode she was on a bus that collided with a young girl. Any nurse’s instinct in this situation is to rush in and help (my late mum was a nurse and we were always having to hold her bag while she dashed to help someone in distress). This time, Duffy hesitated. She only got involved when someone spotted her uniform and asked her, ‘Are you a nurse?’
She’s been the best of nurses and her instincts and skills didn’t let her down this time, either. She gave first aid and spent the rest of her shift solving the emotional problems of the bus victim in true Casualty style. She did all this despite the undermining presence of ‘trouble shooter’ Ciaran Coulson (Rick Warden), who tried to keep her away from the patient. Later he was forced to apologise and commended Duffy for her ‘tenacity and patient care,’ despite the fact that she was ‘suffering from dementia.’ Duffy put him right on that one. ‘Living with,’ she corrected him. ‘It’s an important distinction.’
And it was important that Duffy should be in control of how her career as a nurse should end. ’It feels like I’m fighting a losing battle,’ she admitted to Charlie (Derek Thompson). ‘It’s time for Plan B.’ Plan B involves her still working at the hospital but in more of an admin capacity so everyone will still see her, but it’s very much the end of a Casualty era.
Jacob (Charles Venn) is still carrying out nursing duties despite the fact that he’s sleeping in a sleeping bag in the middle of his mother’s extremely messy sitting room. That can’t be very restful, but at least Omo (Ellen Thomas) is giving him the chance to take care of her. She was still trying to be independent this week and went off to oversee her church cake sale, but was taken ill and ended up in the ED. Jacob went home to collect some things for her, and brought back some of his childhood drawings. There were lots of pictures of a male relative and Jacob was shocked when Omo suggested it might be his dad – because Jacob had been under the impression that his dad died before he was born. What are the chances that the senior Mr Masters will be appearing in the ED in the near future?
Jade (Gabriella Leon)’s plan to apply for the nursing bursary took a setback this week after she discovered that Marty (Shaheen Jafargholi) is also applying for it. Despite Jade proving week after week what a good nurse she is (even the famously hard-to-impress Dr Dylan Keogh thinks so), she doesn’t have much confidence in herself and instantly assumed that Marty is ‘way better’ than her and is bound to get the bursary. This was after a shift where she’d calmed a patient with a needle phobia and been absolutely lovely with Omo. Whereas Marty didn’t seem to do much at all.
Connie (Amanda Mealing) was out at meetings for much of the day, but came back in time to get angry with Ciaran for the way he dealt with Duffy. She might have been more angry if she’d known that he’d also been trying to get Archie (Genesis Lynea) to dish the dirt on her own problematic relationship with Mrs Beauchamp.
Sue Haasler is the author of the official Holby City book, which you can read about here. Her latest novel, Half A World Away, is out now
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