AAU is at breaking point in tonight’s Holby City. Max McGerry (Jo Martin) has frozen the nurses’ budget and as a result the department is seriously understaffed. Everyone is trying their hardest to keep things going – Ric (Hugh Quarshie)’s high-speed appendectomy technique is a particular winner with Max – but with finite resources there’s only so much they can do.

Then Ric gets a stark reminder of an occasion when he and the hospital failed someone, when the sister of a former patient – who died when the department was similarly under stress – is admitted. Determined that history won’t repeat itself he resolves to go the extra mile to make sure his patient gets the best care. But in such a high-pressure situation mistakes are bound to be made, and Ric soon finds himself at odds with Max. It’s in situations like this that you find out who your friends are – but when Hanssen (Guy Henry) gets involved, his opinion shocks everyone.

Essie (Kaye Wragg) and Ben (Charlie Condou) are back from their trip to Rome and their relationship seems to be going from strength to strength. Dominic (David Ames) is naturally disturbed by this, as the knowledge that Ben kissed him last week weighs heavily on him. He also knows that Sacha (Bob Barrett) is still in love with Essie and wonders whether to say something to him or Essie. When Ben reveals that he has ‘big plans’ for the relationship, Dominic decides he has to take action – but will he be too late?

Kian (Ramin Karimloo) is back from Canada. Jac (Rosie Marcel) promised to keep Darwin running until he got better, so he’s surprised to discover that she’s avoiding doing any operations. Can he come up with a way to get her back into theatre?

And after his recent misdemeanours, Cameron (Nic Jackman) finds himself being cold-shouldered by Zav (Marcus Griffiths), while Nicky (Belinda Owusu) tries to come up with another plan to make some money.

Sue Haasler is the author of five novels and the official BBC Holby City book, which you can read about here.

Holby City continues Tuesday 25 February at 8pm on BBC One.

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