Jill cuts short her maternity leave to return to the Royal because of staff shortages and Matron notices that Catherine is avoiding Adam. Out in Africa Jeff makes a promise to a dying woman to create a better life for her young daughter, Nkeshi.
Jeff returns from Africa with Nkeshi, whom he has smuggled into the country illegally. A shocked Matron suggests he put the child in an orphanage but he cannot go through with it. Pop singer Dorcas arrives at the Royal having deliberately injured herself to cancel her tour and escape her bullying boyfriend/manager Rick. With the papparazzi anxious for a good photo of Dorcas, Frankie becomes an innocent pawn in her plan.
Staff encourage put-upon wife Lesley Pinner to take a stand against her controlling husband who was more concerned about the bike than her when they fell off their tandem. Jill's alcoholic patient Jimmy Beattie is brought sharply face to face with his responsibilities to his children when his selfless wife dies of cancer and Matron assumes Adam is the father when Catherine tells her she is pregnant. Joan takes a job in Cameroon and, as Nkeshi's future in England is doubtful, agrees to take her too. Jeff decides he will soon follow.
Aristocratic Lady Isabella Martindale injures herself in a riding accident and is driven to the hospital by her handsome young chauffeur Tom, to whom Lizzie takes an instant shine. As Mr. Rose diagnoses her broken ankle, Adam is more concerned with persuading her to make a donation to the Royal.
Due to an administrative error two young men turn up as prospective successors to Jeff Goodwin, the post eventually going to Dr. Mike Banner. Catherine makes her feelings clear to Adam about their relationship but Stella is the victim of a horrifying attack after a night out.
When expectant mother Lily Metcalfe arrives at the Royal, she is followed by her husband, intent on harassing her and the staff must find the cause. Stella is interviewed by the police after her ordeal and, although she has not picked up any infections, she feels that people are doubting her version of events.
Mr Middleditch makes a surprise return to the hospital in an ambulance after hurting his ankle while fishing; Steela grudgingly welcomes new nurse Marian McKaig as her room-mate; and a frantic mother calls for Mike's help at a hippy commune.
Two new nurses, Marian McKaig, who rooms with Stella, and Susie Dixon, who turns out to be Matron's niece, arrive as does a man suffering from anthrax, which involves the intervention of a public health inspector. Agnes Corbett's dizzy spells call for the examination by a specialist whilst Alun and Lizziwe are intrigued by a disappearing girl patient.
The porters go on sympathy strike but this is bad news for Alun when he is in need of help. He also loses interest in Susie when he realises who she is. Jill has bad news for Dora Rigby, whilst piano teacher Hugh Etheridge, who collapses outside the hospital, and is rushed into casualty, is clearly giving little away about himself.
The death of a baby in a train crash during a family day out makes Jill more determined than ever to support Adam's plan for a premature baby unit. Local farmer Sam gives cause for concern with his odd behaviour whilst Stella's attacker is brought to the hospital after being badly assaulted by the father of another of his victims.
Henry, Gordon's ex-father-in-law visits, bearing an olive branch and making a bequest to the Ormerod family whilst Adam comes under suspicion when hospital funds are unaccounted for. Mike attends a meeting to assess the future of Billy Taylor, a middle-aged man who still lives with his elderly mother on whom he is dependent. Ken has to make a confession to his colleagues.
Susie makes a play for Frankie, telling him she does not mind his being married before. Jill discovers that Alice Hibbert has stolen another woman's baby from the ward but Jill is herself expecting again and is rushed to the theatre with an ectopic pregnancy. The young nurses hold a séance in Matron's flat,spied on by Alun and Frankie. A candle is knocked over, causing a fire and the girls are trapped in the room.