Whilst Tom is in New Zealand seeing his father Deborah and Donald, assisted by Nick Logan, a young doctor from Rattenbury, set up a blood bank at the hospital,which proves its worth when Donald has to find a match for teenaged haemophiliac Abel Marl. It's good news for Len,now set up in his own police station but devastating news for Deborah, when she learns that Tom drowned,trying to save a boy who had fallen overboard on the voyage home from New Zealand.
Helen returns to Ormston to join the villagers in paying their last respects to Tom. Nick Logan is settling in but has his patience tested by hypochondriac Albie Thwaites whilst Henry Williamson, the surgeon general from Rattenbury hospital, suggests to Deborah and Donald that they sell the cottage hospital to the N.H.S.
As Deborah continues to run the hospital with Donald, she becomes involved with the problems of local laundress Janette Locke, who likes a drink and appears to be ill-treating her son. Nancy Brisley, Deborah's flirtatious younger sister,arrives, to add to her worries and instantly sets her cap at Nick Logan. Jean and Eddie becomes temporary landlords at the pub whilst Phyllis recuperates from an injury.
The Cosgroves prepare for their latest foster child Laura whilst Nancy inspires the vicar to wax poetical. Nick shelters Albert Tooley, a young Army deserter and Mary Pilling, recently married to Cyril, fears that he has run away to be with her, unaware of her marital status. In the event it is Cyril Albert has come to see as the lads were once gay lovers. However,with homosexuality being illegal the relationship is doomed to failure.
Local festival Apple day arrives as does Len's tubby cousin Elton, to act as chef. However he has a medical condition and ends up in hospital. Phyllis and Donald start to get cosy as she asks him to be her escort for the day and Nancy loses no time in getting on the dance floor with Nick Logan.
Whilst Nancy advises Deborah to accept Tom's death and get on with her life, Deborah arranges a lunch date for her sister with the object of her affection - Nick. However, Deborah gets her to dress in a more demure fashion as befits a doctor's wife - something which leaves Nick feeling very perplexed. The heavily pregnant Emma Rowe is admitted to hospital and put in the next bed to the Cosgroves' foster daughter Laura. Both girls develop a fever and a curious Phyllis is left to work out the coincidence.
Nancy and Wilf decide to swap jobs,with predictable results,whilst Nancy goes all out to woo Nick. However,it's Deborah who finds herself spending the night with him when they are caught in a storm - and falling for him. Charlie Polson, the drains man, is depressed and feels that a romance with his assistant Hettie could be the cure but ends up in hospital when he tries to impress her.
Jean invites Ruby, who used to baby-sit for her, to the Ormston Antiques Fair,where Ruby is the victim of a mysterious shooting incident. As Deborah and Nick get closer Henry offers him a post at the Rattenbury General whilst Nancy has a fling with builder Jack Lawler, who has come to work on a new dispensary for the hospital. Unfortunately part of a wall collapses,causing chaos for the staff.
When the local home for disadvantaged people is forced to close Deborah welcomes one of the residents, Eileen Fisher, in her house but had not bargained for Eileen's admirer, Jimmy, following suit. Jean gets a surprise visit from a tax inspector whilst Donald is irate when he finds Nick practising emergency surgery and is only too glad when the young doctor announces that he is leaving Ormston.
Jean is suffering from stomach pains,which she puts down to food poisoning but she is actually pregnant. Wilf organizes a fund for the baby and falls foul of new vicar Snaith,who accuses him of stealing the church chalice. Phyllis finds herself at the centre of an unexpected love triangle when window cleaner Silas Craddock and Donald are prepared to fight for her. Nick leaves Ormston for Rattenbury but Deborah, now definitely in love with him, pursues him and they return to the hospital for a romantic dance together.