Staffing the reception desk in Casualty isn’t just about booking in patients, you know. As tonight’s episode reminded us, Noel (Tony Marshall) is an important part of the ED team, but a part that’s very much taken for granted.
You want something looking up/chasing down, or you want your dry cleaning organised or someone to dress as an elephant and pedal an exercise bike for charity? Noel’s your man.
He’s ever-helpful, ever-friendly and always obliging. Too much so – the poor man was overrun with tasks, only some of which were actually in his job description, and he told Connie (Amanda Mealing) he needed some help.
She promised she’d pop it on her agenda at some point before wafting off, but in the meantime Noel found himself with an extra job on his hands – looking after a very distressed young girl who called herself Bluebell (Fern Deacon).
Noel was just about the only person who could get Bluebell to calm down, and he soon realised that her mother Sandi (Alex Childs) was behaving very strangely to her. This seemed to be on the advice of her creepy counsellor, ‘Dr’ Joseph Milner (Aneirin Hughes), who encouraged Sandi to keep her daughter at arm’s length and not indulge her hysterical behaviour.
When Milner turned up in the ED, Bluebell became so distressed she threw a bin at him and then fell through a glass screen, severing her ear. Noel became suspicious and did a quick online search to discover that Milner wasn’t a doctor at all.
It soon became clear what kind of man Milner was when Bluebell confronted him in the hospital toilets. He’d been abusing her, and then prescribing drugs to her mother so she’d be so out of it she wouldn’t realise what was happening to her daughter.
Bluebell was tough and brave to do this, because Milner was an extremely nasty piece of work. Luckily Noel was on hand to grapple with him, which sent them both tumbling down the stairs. Noel wasn’t hurt, and Connie and the rest of the team finally appreciated what a brilliant job he’d been doing.
Faith (Kirsty Mitchell) was also doing a brilliant job because she always does, but she was feeling really guilty about having to work while her son Luka (Tom Mulheron) was having chemotherapy.
She overheard David (Jason Durr) talking about this and thought he was criticising her, but he wasn’t really. David has had his own worries with his son and knows what it feels like.
Also he said he was missing his wife Rosa, who is still in Uruguay. I think we can all join with David in hoping that she returns fairly speedily. There was also a brief mention of Charlie, who’s been spotted in a supermarket buying booze. Oh, Charlie.
Fenisha (Olivia D’Lima), meanwhile, was doing a lot of soul-searching trying to decide what to do about her pregnancy. She convinced herself that she wanted a termination, but some careful questioning by a nurse at the clinic gave her pause for thought and a patient made her realise that she might be cut out to be a mum after all.
This was undermined later by Ethan (George Rainsford) agreeing that she’d made the right decision – only he assumed that she’d already had the termination. Complex.
Sue Haasler is the author of five novels and the official BBC Holby City book, which you can read about here.
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