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Harry Harper is a former consultant in emergency medicine who worked in Holby City Hospital's emergency department. He joined the department in June 2002 following the resignation of Max Gallagher.


Joining the emergency department

In June 2002, in the wake of consultant Max Gallagher's resignation, Harry was brought into Holby City Hospital's emergency department as a locum. (CAS: "Denial")

Sharing the clinical director position

In October 2006, on Harry's last day as clinical director, Selena recommended that Nathan offer him the opportunity to maintain the position. In an attempt to undermine Harry, Nathan approached Harry with the offer of portfolio management which would split the clinical director position between two people, and put Selena forward as a possible candidate. Harry and Selena were both happy with the arrangement, (CAS: "Heads Together") but the two quickly clashed after Selena instituted a new and unpopular department initiative without informing him where referral patients would start their treatment in the ED instead of on the wards. When Tess announced that the nurses would not be participating in the scheme, and when Harry discovered that Selena had not granted Guppy time off to attend a training course, Harry went to confront Selena and found her and Nathan kissing in his office. (CAS: "Sons and Lovers")

Department closure

Later that month, following an emergency board meeting, it was announced that the strategic health authority had decided that downsizing Holby's emergency services was necessary and that either Holby City Hospital's or St James' ED would be closed down. (CAS: "Angels and Demons") In November, it was decided that Holby City's emergency department would be closed down and merged with St James' to form a "super ED". (CAS: "To Be a Parent") The following week, Elspeth Lang — the head of the Wyvern NHS Trust — offered Harry the position of clinical director at the "super ED" on the condition that he would sign an undertaking promising not to resist the closure of Holby City ED. Harry initially refused, but he reconsidered his decision. (CAS: "It's Now or Never") Ultimately, Harry decided to turn down the role and lead the campaign to keep the department open. (CAS: "All Through the Night")

On 9 December, Holby MP Stephen Gregory was scheduled to appear on BBC Points West to discuss the merger, and Selena was nominated to represent the hospital on the programme to argue in the ED's favour. However, Selena was forced to be quarantined when it transpired that her patient had been handling radioactive rods and later opted to remain with them instead. In her place, Harry appeared on Points West and effectively argued that the distance to the "super ED" would be too great for people living in Holby City's catchment area. (CAS: "The Edge of Fear") The following week, Harry treated Stephen after he fell down a flight of stairs during an altercation with an angry constituent; he later experienced cardiac arrhythmia and died. (CAS: "In Good Faith")

Running in the Holby by-election

On Christmas Eve, Ellen was hit by a motorbike while pursuing Laura Merriman — a woman with Munchausen syndrome by proxy whose daughter Rosie was in a hypoglycaemic coma. Despite the team's best efforts, Ellen went into cardiac arrest and died of her injuries. Harry was devastated by her death and insisted on being the one to clean her body. (CAS: "Silent Night") The following week, at Ellen's funeral, Josh Griffiths publicly maligned Harry as a "deluded man standing on a sinking ship" and asserted that the emergency department was bound to close. (CAS: "The Sunny Side of the Street - Part One") Harry began to feel increasingly hopeless, but after rescuing a woman who had nailed herself to scaffolding on the hospital roof, his confidence was restored. At reception, Harry confronted Sarah Keith, Holby's prospective MP, about her support of the "super ED", prompting her to challenge him to "put [his] money where [his] mouth is" and compete against her in the upcoming by-election. Harry accepted the challenge and decided to make saving the ED the focal point of his campaign. (CAS: "The Sunny Side of the Street - Part Two")

In January 2007, Maggie suggested that Harry could appeal to more voters by being more "personable", but his attempt to act on her advice backfired when a distraught Alice, who had discovered that her plants that adorned reception had been disposed of, pushed him away when he tried to comfort her. (CAS: "Stormy Weather") The next day, Nathan, who had witnessed the incident, convinced Alice to file a formal complaint accusing Harry of sexual harrassment and put Harry on special leave while an investigation was carried out. (CAS: "The Personal Touch") By the following week, news of the scandal had reached the local press. After finding out that Nathan had lied about there being previous instances of staff accusing Harry of sexually harrassing them, Alice decided to withdraw her complaint and confirmed that Harry did nothing wrong. (CAS: "The Silence of Friends")

On election day, Harry was called to the scene of a car crash while on the campaign trail and accompanied the casualties to the ED. Despite the advice of his campaign manager Robin Blake, Harry chose to remain in the department and ended up not attending the vote count. Nevertheless, Harry won the election with 50% of the total vote, thus saving the emergency department. (CAS: "No Return") On his last shift in the ED, Harry asserted that, even though he became an MP to save the department, he did not want to leave his job, but Selena reminded him that he was now in the position to improve the lives of Holby's residents and prevent some from having to be admitted to the ED in the first place. After Harry bade farewell to his colleagues, he and Selena shared a passionate kiss in their office (CAS: "The Miracle on Harry's Last Shift") and spent the night together. The following morning, Selena was keen to hear from Harry again, but Nathan had deleted a message Harry sent her and claimed a bouquet of flowers he sent as his own. Upset by Harry's apparent lack of contact, Selena left him a message saying that their night together was a mistake. (CAS: "The Killing Floor")

Selena's death

In August, it was announced that Harry and Junior Health Minister Kay O'Brien would be visiting the department. (CAS: "Walking the Line") However, Harry visited a day earlier to make sure preparations had been made for the minister. After hearing from Nathan that Selena underwent a termination, Harry offered her his support, but she admitted that she never went through with it and was still pregnant. (CAS: "Seize the Day") On the day of the visit, Selena corrected Harry when he suggested that the baby was his.

While leaving the department, Harry encouraged a man named Adam Hamer who had accidentally amputated his own thumb to come back inside. However, Adam's wife Jen, who was psychotic and had a deep mistrust of anyone "in the system", arrived for him and held Harry at gunpoint. Selena entered the room to try to convince Jen to allow for Adam to be treated, and admitted that she initially wanted to have an abortion because the father of the baby was not Harry's — the man who she loved. As Jen and Adam were preparing to leave, Jen was spooked by an armed office and fired her gun, hitting Selena in the neck. Selena was rushed into resus, but she succumbed to her injury. However, Harry managed to convince consultant Theo "Stitch" Lambert to sanction an emergency caesarean to try to save Selena's baby. The baby — later named Angel — was successfully delivered, (CAS: "To Love You So") but she was 16 weeks premature and died the following month from an E. coli infection. (CAS: "Meltdown")

Appointment as consultant manager

In September, Guppy, believing that the emergency department was falling apart and that he could no longer cope with the pressure, resigned and travelled to Westminster to convince Harry to return to Holby. Harry was not swayed and encouraged Guppy to persevere "on [his] own", (CAS: "No End of Blame") but Harry realised that he could do more for the ED "from the inside" and stepped down as an MP. He was appointed by the hospital board as the department's consultant manager (CAS: "Sliding Doors") and given six months to make it fully efficient and get it "out of the red". On his first day back, Marilyn Fox — the executive director of the emergency department — instructed him to fire Nathan for failing to lead the department effectively. Harry was reluctant to, given the recent death of Nathan's daughter, but he eventually broke the news to him. (CAS: "Core Values")

The following week, Harry introduced a 'no inappropriate attenders' policy where patients would be refused treatment if their ailments could be treated effectively by their GPs. The move was initially met with criticism, but Tess later remarked that the policy had given her time to persuade a rape victim to press charges against her attacker, and Harry managed to reduce the waiting time to only an hour. (CAS: "Inappropriate Behaviour") However, when a woman was brought into the ED with severe lacerations after being discharged earlier that day, and it transpired that her husband was responsible for her injuries, Abs argued that the hospital could have prevented the incident from happening if not for the new policy. Harry agreed to put the policy "on ice", but he warned that savings would now have to be made by either cutting resources or making staff redundant. (CAS: "My Aim Is True")

Later in October, as part of a trial, a new blood gas machine was brought into the ED which would allow the department to be paid for every completed form. However, the machine soon began returning incorrect results, so Harry abandoned the trial. As a result, it was decided that the department would have only one band 8 nurse, meaning that either Charlie or Tess would be made redundant. (CAS: "As One Door Closes...") Harry was vehemently against the idea and provided the board with statistics proving that the ED was more efficient with two senior nurses on staff, but his attempts to persuade the board were unsuccessful, and Harry was forced to inform Charlie and Tess that one of them would have to resign by Christmas. (CAS: "Finding the Words")

Charlie and Tess refused to decide who would volunteer to leave; Harry warned them that he would be forced to make the decision for them. (CAS: "A House Divided") Charlie's position in the department was threatened when Harry was forced to file a truancy report after Charlie left mid-shift to find his son Louis following a fire at his school. (CAS: "How Soon Is Now") On the day of the decision, Tess volunteered to be made redundant, (CAS: "Snowball") but she was reinstated when Charlie resigned after hitting a patient. (CAS: "(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?")


In February 2008, F2 Ruth Winters was found hanged in her flat and was left in a coma. (CAS: "Before a Fall") After reading through her diary, Harry concluded that the hospital had failed to provide adequate support for her and pledged to make sure that the same would never happen again. (CAS: "Sex and Death") He was disgusted by Marilyn and the board's attempt to exonerate themselves by suggesting that Ruth was never cut out to be a doctor, and he threatened to take Ruth's diary to the press. The board offered Harry a bonus in exchange for his silence; Harry refused, prompting Marilyn to warn him that he would lose his job if he leaked the diary to the press. (CAS: "Say Say My Playmate") Despite Marilyn's warnings, Harry gave sections of Ruth's diary to a journalist. (CAS: "Silent All These Years")

Following the leak, the board deemed Harry's position as untenable and fired him, but Harry stood by his decision and refused to "go quietly". However, Marilyn told the press that Harry's decision had distressed Ruth's family and that the board had decided not to renew Harry's contract prior to the incident. Before leaving, Harry convinced Jayne Grayson — the hospital's chief executive officer — to reinstate Charlie Fairhead to help boost morale in the department; Charlie agreed to return. (CAS: "Thicker than Water") As a parting gift, Harry used his "hush money" to buy additional equipment for the ED. (CAS: "Diamond Dogs")


  • On Harry's first day working at the ED, he was forced to bring his son Jordan and infant daughter Daisy to work with him due to his wife Beth dismissing their childminder.

Behind the scenes

Simon MacCorkindale portrayed Harry Harper in Casualty from 2002 until 2008. On 14 October 2010, MacCorkindale died of cancer.