Casualty’s Charlotte: ‘Sam makes things worse’

Casualty (BBC1, Saturday) star Charlotte Salt tells us about Dr Sam Nicholls’ GMC investigation and why the former army medic can’t seem to stay out of trouble…

Back in January, Sam accidentally injured Keith Parr while trying to defend Dylan. Now Keith Parr has made an official complaint…

“He’s reported her to the General Medical Council so she’s under investigation. But as far as she’s concerned, it’s Keith Parr who should be on trial for attacking her colleague! Sam was simply trying to disarm him and now she’s got this huge cloud hanging over her.”

Is Dr Jordan (Michael French) supportive of Sam?

“Absolutely, but he’s nervous as he knows Sam is a livewire. She’s not good at personal relations whereas Jordan is very good at calming people down. When Sam lets slip that she went to Keith Parr’s house to apologise, he tells her she’s made the situation a whole lot worse.”

She also manages to offend a patient’s father this week – what happens?

“She’s treating a 15-year-old boy called Louis and discovers that he’s been taking drugs. She agrees not to tell his parents, but then his father finds out and accuses her of withholding information. Unfortuantely, the boy’s father turns out to be Dr Blakeley who is head of Cardiology at St James’s Hospital. He starts throwing his weight around and demands to see her consultant, Dr Jordan.”

Why does Sam keep getting into trouble?

“Sam is quite volatile and easily flies off the handle so she needs to learn to bite her tongue. When she was in the army, she was used to dealing with patients with shrapnel embedded in their faces. So she has no sympathy for these parents and tells them exactly what she thinks of their spoilt children. But as a member of the hospital staff, you just can’t talk to people like that.”

Will Sam’s case eventually go to trial?

“The investigation is quite a long, drawn out process and everyone is getting on her back about it. But it does eventually go to court and you find out exactly what happened to Sam in Afghanistan and why she is the way she is.”

Are you enjoying this storyline?

“Absolutely because it’s a very poignant subject. Healthcare workers often come under attack and it’s a very difficult situation to deal with. You’re the one in control of the room and yet your hands are tied.”