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When disaster strikes, will Serena Campbell regret having her mother treated at Holby? Actress Catherine Russell tells us more…

Serena’s mother returns to Holby this week for an operation on the NHS. Why did Serena decide against having Adrienne treated privately?
“Serena only ever wanted what was best for her mother and when she realised there would be a wait, she persuaded Adrienne to go private. However, then Hanssen said she would make both herself and the hospital look bad if the press got hold of the story that Holby’s newly appointed clinical executive director was sending her mother for private treatment. So Serena agreed that her mother would wait to be treated at Holby.”

So when Adrienne returns to Holby this week, Serena wants her whipped straight into theatre doesn’t she? But there’s another hold-up…
“Serena finds it difficult being the relative here, not the surgeon. As a daughter, Serena wants her own loved one to be seen first but another patient, Dawn, has bowel cancer and Serena knows that Dawn is a priority.”

Adrienne does eventually have her op but her recovery doesn’t go according to plan, does it?
“That’s right. Ric asks Chantelle to do Adrienne’s hourly observations. Chantelle writes down the time but then notices Dawn is in trouble and rushes over to deal with the emergency. In that time, Adrienne suffers a very serious stroke.”

Does Serena immediately look for someone to blame?
“Serena looks at her mother’s notes and realises that all Chantelle did was write down the time and, in the chaos, didn’t actually do the check up. Serena blames Chantelle for Adrienne’s stroke and wants to make an official complaint.”

Surely Serena must know Chantelle would never mean to hurt anyone…
“Well, what Serena actually does is blame the system – and Chantelle is stuck right in the middle of it. Serena really likes Chantelle and thinks she’s a good nurse but, because she was overworked, she made an error. A very big one. Serena wants to see procedures put in place so that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.”

So, does Serena regret having her mother treated on the NHS?
“Serena was brought to Holby to make things work better. This personal incident shows her, in stark reality, that resources are overstretched and things are not running smoothly.”

Holby City continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.