New legislation and Sister Ursula cause serious problems for Shelagh and Dr Turner. Meanwhile, a first-time mother from the Chinese community faces an unexpected crisis.
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MATURE JENNY: 'Each life is a journey
'defined by the turns we take and the roads we choose
'or which fate chooses for us.'
-Morning, Mr Chen.
-Morning, Miss Gilbert.
'Some travel geographically, trading home for home,
'and one language for another.
'But we all move from youth to maturity,
'childhood to parenthood, as if we were traversing continents.
'The world shifts and the climate alters.
'Safe passage cannot be bought
'and we have no holy passport to protect us.'
It will be your turn very soon, Mr Chen.
'And so we venture forward, fragile maps in hand
'flying our banners of courage and of hope.'
Oh, dear, Patrick
-Good morning, Dr Turner.
-Good morning, Sister.
Erm, I'm afraid you'll have to excuse me -
I'm on my way to a meeting.
I imagine that would be the meeting at the Board Of Health.
About Mr Powell's new Hospital Plan.
Yes, it is.
There are interesting implications for our district, I suspect.
Which is why I've decided that I ought to attend.
Well, I imagine you'd like a lift, Sister.
Thank you. That would be appreciated.
Well? Do we pass the test?
Approved for home birth.
Thanks, Nurse. See, Ma, I told you she was nice.
Nurse Gilbert's from Liverpool like me.
We have to talk about your plan for afterwards, once baby's here.
After baby comes it's zuo yue zi.
It's the Chinese thing she wants me to do.
Zuo yue zi means "sitting the month".
Me and the baby stuck in here for 30 days
with my mother-in-law looking after us.
You don't sound terribly keen.
It's just strange to me, that's all, Nurse. Me mam was English.
It's me dad who's Chinese and I've not seen him since I was five.
They deported him in '46.
Anyway, it's not how I was brought up.
But I've said I'll do it.
Well, so long as you're sure, we'll support you.
30 days is a very long time for bed rest, isn't it?
Proper hygiene after the birth though - on that we must insist,
no matter what Mrs Chen Sr says.
We don't want any nasty infections.
I have a feeling that Mrs Chen Sr might be a bit of a handful.
I really hope Lucy can cope. That's my biggest worry, actually.
It's an awfully small flat.
Chinese customs are quite complicated.
I'm not sure Lucy feels particularly Chinese.
And that's at least part of the trouble.
-I hope I'm not late.
-Not at all. Successful trip?
A couple of blouses, thank goodness.
Some of my clothes are barely decent now.
Including my uniform, which is rather embarrassing.
I also got this.
I wasn't going to buy anything yet.
It seemed like tempting fate. But it was so lovely.
And I gave away most of Angela's baby things.
You're almost halfway through, Shelagh.
You should be starting to prepare.
Oh, hello. How was your meeting?
Eventful. They're trying to close us down.
It appears that the new Hospital Plan For England And Wales
wants to move women away from small maternity homes like this one
-and into big general hospitals.
-Oh, my goodness.
We're to be inspected, apparently, and then they decide our fate.
They can't shut us down, we're busy, there's obviously a need.
Enoch Powell thinks otherwise, as does Sister Ursula.
But we're not going down without a fight.
Shutting maternity homes across the country - whatever next?
Only a man could think it's a good idea.
Quite apart from anything else,
it's going to lead to an increase in hospital births.
Hospital is the best environment if specialist help is required.
And, if it is not, a woman's home should be perfectly adequate.
With the greatest respect, Sister Ursula,
some of the homes in Poplar aren't adequate at all.
It's one of the reasons I opened the home in the first place.
And why it's still needed. Desperately.
how long do we have and what are we going to do about it?
They haven't given us much notice, I'm afraid.
A little over a week.
But we have drawn up a plan of action.
The building itself needs some minor repairs,
so Fred will be seeing to all of that.
On his own time, I assume.
As you will see from the sheet, we are then going to gather as many
statistics on the maternity home as we can get our hands on and present
the inspector with black and white evidence of our achievements so far.
And how can we help?
Just keep doing exactly what you've been doing since the home opened.
Providing our mothers and babies with the very best care.
We are very short of staff at present, Mrs Turner.
There have been departures
and we still await the return of Nurse Franklin.
I'm afraid the maternity home cannot be our principle concern.
We too are under scrutiny.
I think she's done now.
Thank you, Mrs Evans.
You can come in now.
It's this one here. The wheel keeps sticking.
Sorry, Mrs Collier, we'll try not to get in your way.
That's all right. I ain't going anywhere.
Any day now, Mrs Collier.
Well, it looks easy enough to fix, Mrs Turner.
Good. Thank you, Fred.
Right. Shall we see how that blood pressure is today?
You want to send that inspector in to me.
I'll tell him what I think of him.
Trying to get this place closed down.
I'm not sure that would do anyone's blood pressure much good, Mrs Collier.
This is much better, though.
135 over 85. Good for you.
Not in uniform today, Mrs Turner?
No. Not today.
Good morning, Sister. Are you looking for something?
May I help you?
No, thank you, Nurse Crane.
I am merely making some improvements to the roster.
And what improvements might those be, Sister Ursula?
I'm introducing a 20-minute time limit to all antenatal,
postnatal and district calls.
But, Sister, that's half the time we usually allow.
A 20-minute visit is ample time for checks and small procedures.
And it will enable each of you to see three extra patients in a day.
It may be ample time in a hospital situation, Sister,
but not in district practice, I'm afraid.
Perhaps you would find it useful to come out with us, Sister?
My role here is to ensure the running of Nonnatus House is efficient.
Sadly, I have personal experience of what happens to institutions
that are deemed otherwise.
20 minutes, please. It's for the best.
I'm going to get a frame for this.
Put me mam and dad up beside your picture of Cyril.
The baby can grow up seeing them all together
and work out who they look like.
Shall I get a new frame for this one too?
Going to fall to bits soon.
Nothing wrong with frame. Leave it.
Are you sure?
Oh, Ma. You kept a piece of his baby hair. That's lovely.
I'm going to do that too.
I said leave it. I will fix it.
I'm sorry, Sister, I realise this is an inopportune moment
but I must speak with you.
Of course. What is it?
This 20-minute ruling imposed on us by Sister Ursula
is completely impractical.
We are not machines and nor are our patients.
District practice has variables that precludes such a rigid approach.
We're treading a very fine line here.
I am not certain that Sister Ursula is altogether fit to be
making these decisions.
Sister Ursula was matron at the Order's cottage hospital
when it was closed for inefficient practice.
She took it very badly, blaming herself entirely.
Sister Ursula's ways are different.
But we must support her and show willing.
Who knows? Maybe we'll all be surprised.
# When you see a gentleman bee
# Round a lady bee buzzin'
# Just count to ten then count again
# There's sure to be an even dozen
# That's the name of the game
# And each generation
# They play the same
# Now, there was two butterflies castin' their eyes
# Both in the same direction
# You'd never guess that one little yes
# Could start a butterfly collection
# That's the name of the game
# And each generation
# They play the same
# Let me tell ya now I say one and one is five
# You can call me a silly goat
# But ya take two minks add two winks. #
I hope you haven't put those out of alphabetical order.
Every "i" on these records is going to be dotted and every "t" crossed.
Dad, have they really started closing places down?
Not here. Not yet. But we can't take anything for granted.
Sister Ursula was Matron at a Cottage Hospital that closed.
That might have been because of her.
I'm sure it was more complicated than that.
Mrs Henderson is on her way in.
I'll go and get her settled.
Oh, looks like I'll be on Beatrix Potter duty tonight, young lady.
And make sure it's Mrs Tiggy-Winkle or the Flopsy Bunnies.
No Squirrel Nutkin.
Shelagh. Shouldn't we call someone over from Nonnatus House?
I don't want you doing too much.
I'm in fine fettle, Patrick.
Besides, I don't want to give Sister Ursula the pleasure of saying no.
Can you wait, Nurse?
I'm really sorry but it'll get ruined.
It's me who should be sorry for being so late.
Oh, come and join us. Please. I've made plenty.
-Let me take this.
All right. That's very kind.
I'll be late for my tea anyway.
Well, you're always complaining about me Chinese cooking,
so I've made something English.
Well, not really. It's a sausage.
SHE SPEAKS CANTONESE
What's she saying?
-It looks lovely.
It would appear that
neither Nurse Gilbert nor Sister Monica Joan are intending to
join us this evening.
I must say, it's most unlike Sister Monica Joan to miss
an opportunity for Bakewell tart.
She mentioned a walk.
Another one? I hope she's not becoming disorientated.
She's become very unsettled since the...
Perhaps the time approaches for our Sister's retirement to the Mother House?
I'm sure that won't be necessary.
You had to deal with an emergency, I assume, Nurse Gilbert?
No. Not an emergency.
The 20-minute rule is not optional.
Nor is it something which applies only to your colleagues
-and not to yourself.
-No, Sister. I'm sorry.
Nonnatus House will not carry slackers, Nurse Gilbert.
Do I make myself clear?
It won't happen again.
would you be so kind as to pass the custard?
My mother is nothing like Mrs Chen, I promise.
She's going to adore you. Like I do.
Well, she isn't going to have to live with me, is she?
Unless I've missed something?
No. Just us.
I can't wait.
Young Nurse Busby is escaping her revision by offering all and sundry
-a cup of tea.
-And some toast.
She thinks I haven't spotted her cunning ruse.
-Violet's jam. First of the year.
I believe there's similar excitement in France with the arrival of the Beaujolais.
Barbara's been telling me about her evening meal.
Well, I don't think it's slacking to try and build up a patient's trust.
Of course it isn't.
You are a good midwife, Barbara, and I don't want you to forget it.
But for the moment we just have to do the best we can.
P'raps things will be easier for you all when Trixie gets back.
I hope so. Right you are, Nurse Busby. Chop chop.
Back to cephalopelvic disproportion for you.
-What? What is it?
HE SPEAKS CANTONESE
I don't need your mother, Cyril. I need a midwife.
HE SPEAKS CANTONESE
SCREAMS OF PAIN
This WILL help with the pain.
Just hold the mask over your face like that. That's it.
Lucy. I'm going to ask your mother-in-law to come in and help.
MANY BABIES CRY
-Here we are, Mrs Evans.
I'm just going to get a wrench. Do you want me to answer that?
No, I'll do it, thank you.
Isn't it always the way?
We need to open the surgery, it's already...
-Is no-one here to help you again?
Pass them nappies over 'ere, Dr Turner.
I got nothing else to do.
Don't you dare get out of bed, Mrs Collier.
We'll sort this out.
Another one like that, Lucy, now. You're doing so well.
Isn't she, Mrs Chen?
Good, strong mother.
Lucy, keep breathing... gentle, slowly.
That's it. Head's born, Lucy.
One more gentle push.
You have the most beautiful daughter.
Oh, look at her, Ma.
Oh, she's lovely.
What is it, Ma? Do you wish she was a boy?
Girls very special too.
Sister, my wife is spread too thinly.
And although she wouldn't thank me for the term,
she is an elderly primigravida.
Even if I cannot appeal to your compassion,
as a professional you must know that extra strain is unwise.
The Order Of St Raymond Nonnatus is all compassion, Dr Turner.
But what can I do? The duties have been allocated.
There is only myself.
She's been out again.
The changes have unsettled her.
You don't think Sister Ursula meant what she said?
I hope not, Sister.
To leave all that is familiar would be the very worst thing for
Sister Monica Joan.
May I have your bag, Sister Winifred?
You are to spend the morning at the Maternity Home with Dr Turner.
I require you to furnish me with a bicycle.
SHE CLOSES WINDOW
Draught very bad for you and baby.
Careful with head!
I know, Ma, it's all right.
SHE SPEAKS CANTONESE
Do you have a name for her yet?
I want to call her Linda. After me mam.
No, no, no, no.
Very bad luck to have same name as dead relative.
Not here, Mrs Chen. Here it's a lovely thing to do.
It's a mark of respect.
It's me mam, Cyril, please.
You want baby to have bad luck?
What about...Lin? A Chinese name and honours your mother.
But she'll always be Linda in here.
Patrick. I've told you. I'll do that.
No, no. You're busy. Mending your dress.
It's not a dress, it's my uniform.
And I'm not mending it, I'm letting it out at the seams.
So that I can look cool, calm,
collected and professional during the inspection.
We could try being cool, calm, collected and professional now, really.
Yes, we could
but I'm not convinced that would speed up my mending,
or your typing.
We'll pull through. We always do.
I'll check on Lin in a minute.
Everything seems to be going nicely back into place, Lucy.
She seems to be having a nice nap.
At last. Honestly, Nurse. What a night.
I don't think I've ever felt so tired.
-DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
-I've got this thumping bloody headache and all.
Ma, not again.
Fish soup. Very good for milk. Why you take covers off Lin?
No. You'll wake her.
It... It's lovely and warm in here, Mrs Chen.
I don't think Lin needs a blanket.
All right. I go down to work.
Rest and keep warm.
Nurse... I'm sick of that bloody fish soup.
Perhaps it's revenge for the toad-in-the-hole.
I could pour it away and open the window, if you like.
I won't tell if you won't.
Oh, Lucy, mothers often feel down in the dumps
a few days after the birth.
It's horrid but it'll pass, I promise.
-It'll help if you can sleep.
-That's all I want to do.
Oh, I'm so sorry, Lucy.
But I think I'm going to have to wake Lin up.
I'm only allowed 20 minutes.
Oh, no. Please, Nurse. It took so long to get her down.
Let her sleep. Please. I'm so tired.
Oh, I really should be going anyway.
We'll be back in the morning.
-Present from Fred from the allotment.
-He says good luck.
-Oh, that's so kind.
Mrs Collier's had a show.
Things are definitely on the move, Mrs T.
Oh, that's good news, isn't it?
Oh. Sorry, Mrs Collier. I've got the most awful butterflies this morning.
It's so silly.
I thought it must just be a touch of heartburn,
what with you being in the family way yourself.
-You can't just come out and say it.
Have you all been speculating?
Speculating? She's been running a book.
Well, I certainly don't approve of gambling on the premises.
And, yes, I am expecting a baby and we're delighted.
No water on skin, only cloth.
Need to be calm.
Ma, I smell. I've got a thumping headache and I'm too hot.
You've got the bloody fire on and it's June.
I put fire out when skin dry.
The skin hardly got wet. I've had enough of this!
Now give me me baby.
You need to be calm. Lin all right with me.
Give me me baby, Ma.
She's mine, not yours and I don't want you to have her.
I just think she's too hot, that's all.
I try to do right by you.
To keep you and baby safe and warm.
You such a spoilt, ungrateful girl.
You think lying in bed for a few weeks is hard?
You have no idea what hard is! I go to work!
This is Dr Turner.
-Doctor, Mr Greenwood from the Board Of Health.
Nice to meet you, Mr Greenwood. Welcome to the Maternity Home.
Right, er, shall I show you round?
Or would you like a cup of tea before we start?
We'll get going, shall we? Quite a lot to do.
Please. After you.
I might ask you a few questions about the background of the place as we go. Is that all right?
In fact, I've put together some information on just that.
I'm can write my own report, thank you, Dr Turner.
Of course. Please. This way.
Oh. That one was a bugger.
This is Mr Greenwood, everyone.
We have a four-bedded ward, as you can see.
Three occupied at the moment.
We also have a delivery room,
a nursery and a sterile area for autoclave and so forth.
It's a lovely place, Inspector. It's home from home.
Better than MY home.
It don't have my old man in it for a start.
Mrs Henderson and Mrs Evans are postnatal patients.
And Mrs Collier - well, we hope to meet Mrs Collier's baby later today.
-And this is Nurse Gilbert.
Nurse. Quite an infrastructure, then, for only four beds.
To be perfectly honest, Dr Turner,
four beds could be absorbed into a new general hospital in a blink.
You must see that?
Come on then, little one. You're usually hungry by now.
No, no, no, no, no, no. Ma?
Ma? Ma? She's not moving!
What...? What do we do? What do we do?
In the four years we've been open, we've had just over 300 admissions.
Most of them have given birth on the premises.
Some have been admitted for postnatal care.
And a handful have been referred on to hospital for specialist attention.
The thing is, Dr Turner,
the new hospitals will have beautiful facilities,
the very latest equipment, access to all specialisms.
How can you compete with that?
-I'll take her in here.
-Why she no move?
The doctor will find out, Mrs Chen. This way.
Come on, little one.
You can do it.
No response to painful stimuli. Yes, let's try oxygen.
Pulse is very fast.
Mrs Chen's the same and she's just been sick.
Dr Turner, when I visited yesterday, Mrs Chen was poorly.
And the baby?
We're only allowed to stay for 20 minutes now.
The baby was asleep and I didn't have time to do all the checks.
What was wrong with Mrs Chen?
Bad headache but no fever. Very out of sorts.
I thought it was being confined to the room.
It was so stuffy and hot with the fire on.
Look how red her gums are.
Mrs Chen, do you any have gas appliances?
Yes. Fire. Water heater. Cooker.
We need an ambulance right away.
High pulse rate, headaches, irritability.
I think it's carbon monoxide poisoning.
Is there room for Mrs Chen to come too?
No problem, Nurse.
Come on, this way.
Good job with the quick diagnosis, Dr Turner.
Thank you. Please...
It's not your fault, Barbara.
I should've checked the baby. I might have seen something.
The headaches, the sealed room.
I-I should've thought of it but I didn't even smell gas.
Barbara, we don't know how it happened.
But we do know that you should never have been put in the situation
where there wasn't time.
Look, do you want to go home? I can manage here.
No. No, I-I want to be here.
Why don't you go and see how Mrs Collier's getting on?
I'll catch you up.
These are patients currently registered
and their due dates, here.
You can see we're busy.
If I didn't think the Maternity Home was needed,
I would close it down tomorrow.
So why do you think they chose to come to you?
Because they want to stay in the community.
They want the midwives who saw them through their pregnancy
and they want their families close at hand.
Without the Maternity Home, many of our patients would have
the choice between giving birth in damp, overcrowded housing,
or a bus ride, while in labour, to a hospital
where their children couldn't visit.
Personally, I don't think that's any choice at all.
Next question is about how you would respond to an emergency.
But I think that's been established.
'Nonnatus House. Midwife speaking.'
Hello, Nurse Crane. It's Shelagh. I need to get to St Cuthbert's.
Do you think you could give me a lift?
Don't worry, I'm on my way.
That was clever. I didn't even ring the bell.
Welcome home, Nurse Franklin. I trust you had a pleasant voyage.
I'm afraid I need you to man the phone.
The doctor say that if she wakes soon
she has a very good chance of getting better.
But if she doesn't?
-We're in the middle of an inspection, Patrick. One of us has to...
-Shelagh. I am taking you.
I'm sure Nurse Crane would be willing to hold the fort.
-More than willing, Dr Turner.
Oh. Where's Dr Turner?
Medical emergency, I'm afraid. No matter.
We find the symbiotic relationship with Nonnatus House
means there's always someone to take up the baton.
Phyllis Crane, SRN, SCM. Pleased to meet you, Mr Greenwood.
Now, I believe you'd like to hear about postnatal care.
Why don't YOU hold her?
Good morning. I'd like to run some tests...
Now, Nurse Gilbert.
Go home as soon as you're done.
You've had a long day, lass.
Thank you, Phyllis.
I'm dreading telling Sister Ursula about baby Lin.
No, you leave that to me.
Are you leaving us, Mr Greenwood?
Yes. Shame Dr Turner isn't back yet.
He'll receive a copy of my report, of course.
I'll let him know.
Would it be completely inappropriate
if one were to inquire as to any possible conclusions it may contain?
Look...it's a good little place.
Tightly run and serves its patients very well.
Dr Turner's arguments are persuasive and his passion
and commitment are admirable.
Yet I sense a "but", Mr Greenwood.
Progress is marching on in a particular direction.
None of these small places will be here in ten years' time.
The Maternity Home won't be recommended for IMMEDIATE closure
but I'm afraid that's the best I can do.
We will content ourselves with a stay of execution.
-You did the right thing bringing your wife in. We're going to admit her.
The bleeding's stopped. For now.
But even with full bed rest, she may still abort spontaneously.
You do know that?
Yes. I'm a doctor.
It never makes it any easier... where family are concerned.
No, it doesn't.
In war, when we run away from Japanese, I pregnant.
I give birth in rain at side of road.
A woman help me.
She put my daughter in my arms.
A daughter? You had a daughter?
So much black hair.
But we cannot stop.
We walk all night.
I hold her next to my skin to keep her warm.
But it rain so hard and she get so cold.
Colder and colder and then...
But before they take her from me,
I bite off a piece of her beautiful hair
and I put it in my pocket, here, next to my heart.
I still have it. You saw it.
I just want to keep Lin safe and warm and I nearly lost her too.
Ma. You got her here.
-Good evening, Nurse Crane.
-Good evening, Sister.
Might I trouble you for a moment of your time?
I can't tell you how nice it is to see you.
You too. But where's Patsy?
And what on earth has Sister Julienne done to her office?
What's the matter?
The baby remains unconscious.
I will pray for them.
I do not want Nurse Gilbert to face any blame or censure, Sister Ursula.
She was in a situation where her hands were tied.
20 minutes is enough time for postnatal checks, Nurse Crane.
We both know that.
It's enough time in a hospital where all you see is the patient
and their symptoms.
But in district practice one must take in the bigger picture.
I'm afraid it wasn't enough time for Lucy and Lin Chen.
I thank you for your frankness, Nurse Crane.
You have given me much upon which to reflect.
Thank you, Sister Ursula.
No-one doubts your good intentions.
We all want a tight ship.
You should never have been put in a situation where you couldn't use your clinical judgment.
-Sister Julienne would never do anything like that.
-We'll have to say something.
-KNOCK ON DOOR
Nurse Franklin, I presume.
Yes. Good evening, Sister Ursula.
No, I won't interrupt. SHE TURNS MUSIC OFF
I simply wish to commiserate with Nurse Gilbert.
I understand you had a difficult day.
Thank you, Sister.
The condition of Baby Chen remains unchanged, I'm afraid.
I will inform you if there's any news.
And the 20-minute appointment system will be reviewed.
Sister Monica Joan?
Ah, evening, Sister. You're just in the nick of time.
What are you doing here? It's very late.
-THEME FROM STEPTOE AND SON PLAYS FROM TV
Is...? Is that our television set?
Sh. It's starting.
He really is very old.
It's beautiful, Barbara. Perfect.
Mmm. Ah. Tea tastes so much better in Poplar.
We are complete.
Sister Monica Joan, where have you been? I was getting very worried.
Let us simply say, the mystery of the television has been solved.
It was given to the Seaman's Mission. Where's Sister Ursula?
We must ask her to join us for this happy gathering.
Sister Ursula appears to have embarked upon a regimen of prayer and fasting.
I'm sorry, Sister, would you prefer solitude?
No. I would be grateful for your company and for your prayers.
Though I fear I am undeserving of both.
No-one is undeserving of a prayer, Sister.
A baby lies close to death in hospital.
But when I kneel to pray for her
I find I cannot stop the entreaties on my own behalf.
How will God hear the prayers for the child in all the clamour?
God hears it all, Sister. You know that.
I failed in my last mission. That is a fact.
I failed the Order. And I failed Him.
In Nonnatus House I saw...a second chance.
I told myself I was making a gift of myself, to the Order, a gift of
all the lessons I'd learned, so that it would not suffer any more losses.
But it was vanity, pure and simple.
And now I've failed again.
Failure is too strong a word, Sister.
from which we learn.
Will you pray with me for the child?
Did you find the gas leak? Was it the water heater?
Wasn't a leak, love. Fitted without a proper flue.
'Bout time they pulled this lot down.
I don't trust my eyes any more.
You think you see a flicker and then...
I know, love.
She fighting on the inside. She want to live.
She's coming to kick us out.
I don't want to leave her again, Cyril. What if she...?
-I don't think so, Ma.
-She move. I see it.
BABY LIN CRIES
Baby Lin Chen is responding to stimulus.
Our prayers were answered.
Thank you, Sister Julienne.
I shall return to the Mother House.
You won't reconsider?
This is your mission, Sister Julienne.
I should never have usurped it.
There is a vanity in excess penance.
You must have sustenance.
Thank you, Sister Monica Joan.
Your carriage to the station, Sister.
And I will brook no argument.
You are very kind.
-KNOCK ON DOOR
-It's all looking very nice, Sister.
Thank you. It has been an interesting few months.
Do sit down.
I wondered if you'd been given any news about Sister Mary Cynthia.
Not yet, I'm afraid.
But I do know that she is safe and being cared for at the Mother House.
I stayed at the Mother House the night that my ship docked.
I'd hoped I might see her but I didn't.
No-one would tell me anything about her.
Sister Julienne, I don't think she's there.
MATURE JENNY: 'Sometimes there is no map
'for the road we find ourselves upon.
'It lies ahead, uncharted, unfurling into mist.
'We are all travelling through one another's countries.
'But it is no matter if we meet as strangers,
'for we can join forces and learn to love.
'And where there is friendship and affection
'there is the place we can all call home.'
We've received permission and funds to engage a new midwife.
I don't want the kind of help you and Eugene are offering.
Do you hear me? I don't want it.
Spectacular Chariot Race - prams, carts, wheelbarrows.
Nursing treats young working class girls the way the world treats women.
Tell me, honestly. Did I do the right thing?
You did the only thing you could.
We were happy enough before.
And we will be happy again, whatever happens.
The winds of change are blowing through Poplar, as a new government paper calls for the eradication of small hospitals in favour of large general hospitals. Dr Turner and Shelagh are informed that an inspection of the maternity home will decide its fate.
Sister Ursula has her own anxieties about the efficiency of Nonnatus House, so she introduces a new 20-minute rule for all antenatal and postnatal house visits. Barbara struggles the most with this, as she is drawn into helping a first-time mother from the Chinese community. It soon becomes apparent that the shortened visit might have allowed a serious oversight. With the future of the maternity home hanging by a thread, serious questions are raised over Sister Ursula's suitability for her role.
Meanwhile, Sister Monica Joan has started disappearing for long periods of time and there are growing concerns for Sister Mary Cynthia's whereabouts.