Samantha "Sam" Nicholls (formerly Kent and Keogh; 1984 - 30 July 2018) was a paramedic and former registrar in emergency medicine. She worked in the emergency department of Holby City Hospital from 2011 to 2013 and worked for the Holby Ambulance Service from 2017 to 2018. Prior to joining the ED, she worked as an army medic.
She joined Holby ED in October 2011, and news quickly got out about the fact she was married to consultant Dylan Keogh. Following their divorce, she became romantically involved with Tom Kent. They married in December 2013, before leaving the ED together to move away.
In September 2017, Sam returned to Holby as a paramedic. Following her return, she had a brief relationship with nurse Jacob Masters. In July 2018, while attending an accident involving fellow paramedics Iain Dean and Ruby Spark, she was injured by shrapnel from an exploding gas tanker. Later that night, she succumbed to her injuries and died in Iain's arms.
Prior to joining the ED, Sam Nicholls worked as an army medic alongside corporal Iain Dean. In July 2011 they were positioned at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan together which led Sam to have an affair with him whilst married to Dylan. Sam was due to leave in 2011 but the medic who was due to replace her broke his leg so she decided to stay on for a bit longer. However, an incident occurred during a suicide bombing where Sam mistook an injured man's inhaler for a bomb and shot him. This left her feeling guilty and she told Iain that she was going to leave after all to go and work at Holby ED. Knowing this was where Dylan worked, he realised she wanted to get back to her husband after all. (CAS: "Under Fire")
Time in the emergency department (2011-13)
Due to arrive for her first shift on 16 October, she arrived a day earlier planning to be able to spend a day out with the paramedics to gain more experience. Clinical Lead Nick Jordan was surprised to see her a day early but permitted her to go out with the paramedics. She went with Dixie and Jeff to the scene of the stabbing of a priest. The man who stabbed him thought he was to blame for his brother's suicide. They were eventually able to get him away from the scene, but the man who stabbed him rammed the ambulance off the road in his car, as they were on their way to the hospital. Sam later spoke to the man who stabbed him and it soon transpired that the priest had abused his brother. (CAS: "Mea Culpa")
The following week, Zoe soon caught on to the fact that Dylan and Sam had some kind of history when she mocked his attempts to be the Sherlock Holmes of the medical world. (CAS: "Sanctuary") In November, Sam and Dylan put their differences aside whilst treating a teenage mother with a mystery condition. (CAS: "No Goodbyes")
In December during the ED fire, Noel was in the process of calling Zoe and Dylan's next of kins as they were trapped in resus. However, when he rang Dylan's, Sam picked up her phone and walked in, identifying herself as Dylan's wife. Dylan was angry that this had been revealed, and Zoe was surprised that he hadn't confided in her. (CAS: "Next of Kin - Part Two")
In January on the day that the ED re-opened following the renovation work, Sam and Dylan found themselves at the centre of the department's jokes. In an attempt to distract herself from life in the ED, she went out with the paramedics to the scene of a major pile-up on a motorway. However, whilst they were treating the injured, a large explosion occurred at the Silverton Estate. Sam teamed up with fire officer Jon Marston and she was the first medic to reach the scene. Sam was horrified when Jon later sustained chemical burns from toxic gas at the explosion site and returned to the ED after her stressful shift. At the same time, Dylan was being confronted by Keith Parr, the angry son of a female patient in the ED. When he began to show signs of violence towards Dylan, Sam forcibly restrained him in a headlock, forcing him to leave. (CAS: "Duty of Care")
In February, Keith Parr was admitted to the ED following a car crash caused by neck pain. Upon examining him, Zoe realised that he had a small fracture in his neck. Things only got worse for Keith when it transpired that his girlfriend had hepatitis C, and had probably passed it on to him. Realising that Sam was probably to blame for the neck injury, Keith blamed her for the whole thing. Keith threatened that Sam's actions could result in her losing her job. (CAS: "The Only One You Love") Three weeks later, Keith lodged a formal complaint about Sam to the GMC. Sam was notified of this, but instructed to not let it distract her from work by Jordan. (CAS: "Grand Canyon")
In March, the GMC visited the ED as the start of the formal investigation. Staff members were called out one by one to discuss Sam's behaviour. Sam managed to distract herself whilst treating an old soldier, who softened to her upon finding out that she'd served in the forces too. Sam thanked Dylan for his support when he was uncooperative with the GMC, and gave them a written statement instead. At the end of the day, Jordan revealed to Sam that Zoe would be called to the official GMC hearing to give evidence. (CAS: "Lest Ye Be Judged")
At the start of April, Sam and Dylan worked together at the site of an accident at a woodland cave system. They were able to save the woman, Amanda Franks, although the man, David, didn't survive. After the shift, Sam called her solicitor to begin the divorce proceedings, realising that she couldn't be trapped in the relationship forever. (CAS: "When the Gloves Come Off") A few weeks later, Sam was furious to learn that Zoe had been called to give evidence against her at the GMC hearing. Sam was more angry with Scarlett when a patient was mistakenly identified and reacted badly to penicillin. Lloyd later spoke to Sam about her harsh treatment of Scarlett and she apologised. (CAS: "Desperate Remedies")
The following week, the date of the hearing arrived and Sam was shocked to learn that her ex army colleague Iain Dean had been called to give evidence against her. Overwhelmed by the situation, Sam fired her defence team and was then confronted by damning evidence from Nick, Scarlett and Dylan. Things only worsened for Sam when Iain revealed how she'd shot an innocent civilian in Afghanistan. However, Keith collapsed in the bathroom during the hearing and was admitted to the ED. Zoe treated him and realised that Keith had cancer, which explained why Sam's restraint of him resulted in a fracture. Zoe informed the GMC panel of the new evidence and Sam was cleared of the charges. After the trial, Sam kissed Dylan and thanked him for his support, giving him the idea that there was still a chance for them to reconcile their relationship. (CAS: "Appropriate Force")
In May, a letter arrived for Dylan about the divorce proceedings, before Sam had chance to tell him. Hoping to buy herself some time, Sam took the letter. However, Zoe soon found out that Sam was planning to divorce him and urged her to tell him. She informed Dylan that they needed to meet after work. Dylan got the wrong idea and booked a table at a romantic restaurant. Zoe gave Sam a stern talking to and urged her to tell Dylan the truth. When she eventually did, Dylan chose to take his anger out on Zoe due to the fact she'd known all along. (CAS: "Happily Ever After")The following week, Dylan found it impossible to work alongside Sam, and it led to Sam making a bad impulse decision. (CAS: "Home Truths")
In July, Sam was preparing to go back to Afghanistan but when she failed a training exercise she was left wondering to herself whether she would ever be ready to go back. She also treated one of her army colleagues, Captain Morrison, in the ED, after he'd crashed his car just outside the base. It soon transpired that he'd suffered from an epileptic fit, which left Sam in the difficult position of choosing whether to inform the army of this and ruin his career. (CAS: "Zero Sum Game") By the following week, Sam and Dylan were still at a halt, with Dylan refusing to sign the divorce papers if Sam continued to work at Holby. (CAS: "Do the Right Thing") They eventually got divorced and both remained working at Holby.
In August, Sam and Tom were working at the scene of a local outdoor festival. However, when the stage caught fire, the crowds went rushing through the exit tunnels and it resulted in a crush and a wall collapse. Tom managed to rescue Sam when she was almost crushed by the crowds. Tamzin also asked Tom if he was single. (CAS: "Kansas")
In September, Sam and Tom worked together in treating one of Sam's old friends Melanie. They discovered that she was pregnant, but before they could tell her, she had headed off to the arena where she planned to take part in a boxing match. After the stressful shift, Sam invited Tom out for a drink and they shared a kiss in the taxi on the way home. (CAS: "Rock, Paper, Scissors") The next day, they agreed not to talk about what had happened the night before and carry on as normal. (CAS: "An Amateur Sport") The following month, they shared another kiss in the staff room, unaware that Dylan had walked in. After he caught site of Sam and Tom kissing, Dylan walked out like he hadn't seen anything. However, Dylan later refused to go to the Halloween party, despite Sam's efforts to persuade him to go. (CAS: "Seeing in the Dark")
In November, Amanda Franks, the woman whom Sam and Dylan saved from the cave, returned to the ED with her sick friend. Before long, she asked Dylan out, still clearly seeing Dylan as a hero. Sam encouraged him to go for a drink with her in the hopes it may turn his head off her and Tom. However, he caught sight of Sam and Tom flirting and Amanda realised that his attention wasn't on her. Sam and Tom were happily in a relationship, but still keeping it a secret from their colleagues. (CAS: "When Love Breaks Down") A few weeks later, Dylan revealed to Sam and Tom that he'd seen them kissing before the Halloween party. (CAS: "Out of the Blue")
In December, Sam was there to support Tom after a confrontation with a locum doctor, Dominic. Sam urged Tom to apologise to Zoe and Dominic, after Tom had punched Dominic. However, Tom became angry upon discovering that it was Dylan who had told Zoe about his run-in with Dominic. Tom confronted Dylan outside the ED, where he finally admitted that he still had feelings for Sam, before handing in his resignation and leaving Holby. (CAS: "I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus")
In February 2013, Tom confided in Sam about the fact he was adopted when he was younger, but had no interest in finding out who his birth parents were. (CAS: "If Not for You...") In March, Tom became jealous when another doctor asked Sam out after their relationship had grown cold. Tom was also jealous of Sam's friendship with Ash, seeing it as a further threat to their relationship. During the same shift, a violent rapist attacked Sam in the ED, which resulted in Tom punching him. At the end of the shift, Tom finally admitted his feelings for Sam and they shared a kiss in the ED in front of their colleagues. (CAS: "Punch Drunk Love")
In May, Sam became worried about Tom when he undertook tests on a baby without clearance from Zoe. Having previously failed to diagnose a baby's meningitis, he was desperate to do the right thing. (CAS: "The Milk of Human Kindness") The following month, Tom convinced Zoe and Sam that his irrational behaviour was in the past, but Sam still noticed that he seemed to be in a strange mood. Her suspicions were raised when Tess asked all staff to keep extra records when prescribing diazepam due to high quantities of the drug going missing. Zoe later queried his behaviour when he breached patient confidentiality regarding a baby's biological parents, which led Sam to believe Tom wasn't as content about being adopted as he'd made out. Sam spoke to him in the staff room later in the shift, at which point he admitted to her that he'd been taking the diazepam from the hospital's stock to combat his anxiety. Sam urged him to see sense and stop taking the drugs. (CAS: "Garage Flowers")
At the end of June, Sam and Tom clashed over a patient. The disagreement soon turned into an argument, when Tom lashed out at Sam physically. With Tom's behaviour becoming increasingly erratic, Sam began to question how much longer she could put up with it. (CAS: "Letting Go") At the start of July, Sam turned up at the ED with a bag of her belongings which she'd collected from Tom's flat whilst he was out. He accused her of bailing out on him for showing weakness, but she made him realise that their relationship ended after the incident the previous month. Whilst sorting through her things, Sam discovered a letter addressed to Tom from his biological father. It had been sent from prison and Sam immediately informed Tom, but was disappointed when he refused to discuss it with her. (CAS: "A History of Violence")
In August, Tom asked Sam to move in with him after getting their relationship back on track. However, this happened on the same day Sam's ex army colleague Iain returned to the ED as the Ambulance Service's new student paramedic. When Tom found out about their past together, Sam convinced him that her relationship with Iain was long over. (CAS: "Waiting for a Star to Fall") The following month, she told him that he could move in, but with her. (CAS: "Scars")
In October, Sam and Tom's relationship once again strengthened and he planned to propose to her. Whilst showing the ring to a patient, Robyn walked in and discovered Tom with it. Although she promised to keep it a secret, it wasn't long before the rumours spread among the staff. When Iain found out, he innocently questioned Sam about her and Tom's relationship. She admitted to him that they'd had their share of ups and downs in the past. Tom was furious when Iain revealed that he knew about their rough patches and put off the proposal plans. Sam was desperate to make things right with Tom and proposed to him herself in the pub. (CAS: "Three's a Crowd")
In November, Sam and Iain visited one of their old army colleagues Kenny Archer. They were under the impression that he was at a veterans' hospital, but he was actually at a hospital for veterans suffering from PTSD. As they confronted the reality of his condition, Sam found that the experience brought her and Iain closer together. (CAS: "Scars and Nightmares") Later in the month, Tom found out about the visit Sam and Iain made together earlier in the month and called off a visit to their wedding planner. In a moment of confusion, Sam shared a kiss with Iain. (CAS: "There's No Place Like Home")
In December, Sam attempted to get back into Tom's good books as a result of her and Iain's trip together. (CAS: "What a Wonderful Life") On the day of their wedding, their plans were interrupted when they came across a man who had been electrocuted and needed help. Further interruption occurred when her betrayal with Iain came to light, but they managed to put aside their differences and go ahead with the wedding. As part of their mutual agreement of the marriage, they decided to leave the ED for a fresh start and extended honeymoon. (CAS: "Away in a Manger")
Time away from Holby
Some time after leaving Holby, Sam and Tom divorced. She continued to work as a doctor at another hospital. However, after speaking to the press about the hospital's issues with patient safety and overcrowding, she was left unemployable, forcing her to retrain as a paramedic. (CAS: Episode 1053)
Time with the Ambulance Service (2017-18)
In September 2017, Sam returned to Holby as a paramedic and immediately demanded a transfer. On her first shift with Iain, she was forced to breach protocol and clamp a patient's femoral artery with an unsterile, unsuitably-sized clamp. When they returned to the hospital, Connie ordered their superior Josh Griffiths to keep them on-site. Later, the clamp she fitted failed and the patient's leg was potentially compromised. However, Dylan willingly took responsibility for the error, relieving her. At the end of the shift, Sam decided against transferring and chose to remain at Holby permanently. (CAS: Episode 1053)
In October, Lily accompanied Sam and Iain as an observer. When Lily started instructing them through how to treat a patient, Sam confronted her. Later, the two had learned to tolerate each other, but, when Sam accidentally spilled sauce on Lily, the latter saw it as a deliberate act and threw sauce back at her. When talking to Iain, Lily explained that, given his history with Sam, she didn't trust him working with her; feeling insulted, Iain broke up with her. (CAS: Episode 1057) In November, Lily apologised to her and, when Iain discovered that the research project she applied for was based in Hong Kong, Sam encouraged him to convince Lily to stay in Holby. She later helped him set up music and lights in The Hope & Anchor so that he could sing Lily a song to win her over. Unfortunately, Lily decided to focus on her medical career and left Holby. (CAS: Episode 1059) After his breakup, Sam tried to help him move on by throwing his phone away; he was less than pleased. She later apologised. (CAS: Episode 1060)
In March 2018, Sam learned from Bea Kinsella that Dylan was an alcoholic. She asked him why he kept his addiction a secret throughout their marriage, but Dylan coldly dismissed her. (CAS: Episode 1078) In April, wanting to understand why he didn't tell her about his problems, she suggested going for a meal with him, but he declined. (CAS: Episode 1079)
In May, Sam and Iain clashed with new operations manager Jan Jenning after she disapproved of their playful work ethic and tendencies to overstep boundaries. Later, they attended an accident in a storm drain where a boy's foot had become trapped. As the water rose, they contemplated amputating his foot, but he did not give them his consent. However, fearing that he would die otherwise, Sam made the call to amputate. Back at the ED, she felt guilty. Shortly after, the boy's sister threatened to expose that they were not given consent if they didn't give her money for heroin. They informed Jan, who personally dealt with the situation. Later, at the ambulance station, Jacob gave her his old punching bag as a gift. (CAS: Episode 1083)
The following week, Sam allowed Jacob's son Blake to study at the ambulance station. However, she later found him using her punching bag and agreed to coach him for an hour after two hours of revision. Later, Jacob thanked her for looking after him. (CAS: Episode 1085) In June, at The Hope & Anchor, Sam challenged Jacob to a sparring match after he suggested that he could take her on in a fight. Although Jacob initially had her on the ropes, Sam tripped him up, and the two shared a kiss on the floor. However, Jacob soon lost consciousness and was taken to the ED, where he was jovially ridiculed by his colleagues. (CAS: Episode 1086) Later that month, Sam and Jacob grew closer when he spent his shift observing her and Iain. However, that afternoon, Blake visited the ambulance station and tried to kiss her. (CAS: Episode 1088)
In July, Sam told Jacob about Blake's pass at her. Meanwhile, she and Iain were accompanied by new paramedic Ruby Spark on her first shift. Her insistence on following the rules to the letter started to irritate them when she suggested that they were wasting time by helping an elderly woman named Daisy with her domestic chores. Later, they returned to Daisy's house, and Sam and Iain found Ruby trying to resuscitate her. After Ruby demanded to see her DNAR, they found it and got her to stop. However, Daisy was soon back in sinus rhythm, and she was taken to the ED where she later died. Later that afternoon, Ruby decided to continue working with Sam and Iain after Jan tore up her letter of resignation. (CAS: Episode 1089) The next day, Sam called Ruby a liability when she continued to make the same mistakes. However, after Ruby went the extra mile for a young homeless patient, her opinion of her began to change. (CAS: Episode 1090)
Later that month, Sam, Dylan and Jan were sent to the scene of a car crash which involved Iain, Ruby and Alicia. After rescuing a woman from her car, a nearby fuel tanker exploded. At the ambulance station, Sam realised that shrapnel from the blast had torn her liver, and she limped to a nearby ambulance. Later, Iain found her and tried to save her. However, she soon arrested and died in his arms. (CAS: Episode 1093)
Before 2011, Sam married Dylan but when she went off to Afghanistan she began having an affair with her army colleague Iain Dean. She eventually broke up and went to work in Holby with Dylan, much to his disappointment. (CAS: "Under Fire") In 2012, she entered a relationship with Tom Kent which was partially the reason for Dylan leaving that December.
The arrival of Iain Dean as a student paramedic in August 2013 put a spanner in the works for Sam and Tom, but they continued dating anyway. (CAS: "Waiting for a Star to Fall") Tom planned to propose to Sam but when things got in the way, she proposed to him instead and they left Holby in December after getting married. (CAS: "Away in a Manger") Some time before joining the Holby Ambulance Service, Tom cheated on her and the couple divorced.
In June, Sam and Jacob shared a kiss and soon started seeing each other. (CAS: Episode 1086) Their relationship became complicated after his son Blake made a pass at her, and she encouraged Jacob to tell him about them seeing each other. (CAS: Episode 1088) Their romance soon came to an abrupt end when she died a month later. (CAS: Episode 1093)
- Sam holds the rank of Major in the army.
- She sometimes struggled with ungrateful patients and their emotional baggage.
- She's a tomboy and hates high heels and makeup.
- Sam married Tom before leaving the ED with him in December 2013. (CAS: "Away in a Manger")
- She worked in the ED for just over two years.
Behind the scenes
Charlotte Salt initially portrayed Sam on Casualty from 2011 to 2013. It was announced in April 2017 that Salt would be reprising her role as Sam. Casualty's Series Producer Erika Hossington revealed that Salt would begin filming at the end of May. It was revealed through inadvertent pictures of filming in June that Sam would be returning as a paramedic, not a registrar as she previously was in the ED. Sam made her on-screen return on 16 September 2017 in episode five of series 32. Salt made her final on-screen appearance on 18 August 2018 after the death of her character the previous week. News of her departure from the show had been embargoed until after the episode's broadcast.
Charlotte Salt appeared in a total of 117 episodes of Casualty from 2011 to 2018, plus two special episodes. During her run on the show, she had 0 centric episodes.