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"The Short Straw" is the second episode of series 13 of Holby City and the 529th episode overall. It was directed by Sarah O'Gorman and written by David Lawrence.


With the hospital needing to save at least £250,000, Henrik insists that staff redundancies are a "clear option" and proposes letting go of Ric on account of his inactivity; Connie immediately objects and argues that he is an invaluable asset to the hospital. Unfortunately, Mark asserts that the magnitude of the savings required by the Department of Health necessitate staffing cuts, and Cunningham warns Connie that Hanssen has the backing of the board. Connie eventually agrees that redundancies are the way forward and volunteers to be the "bearer of bad news". However, instead of making a consultant redundant, Connie decides to let six nurses go. After learning that her father has been admitted to hospital following a house fire, Connie leaves to visit him in London and vows that she "will be back".

Michael continues to enjoy the glitz and glamour of HolbyCare but is turned off by the prospect of having to delegate between offering private care and fulfilling his duties on the less appealing AAU and leaves Penny to her own devices. She initially covers for him when Hanssen appears on the ward, but Penny puts her foot down and reminds Michael that she is not expected to run AAU on her own. When Hanssen confronts Michael about his absence from AAU, Michael argues that he is making the hospital more revenue by working in HolbyCare, but his argument falls to pieces when his lack of attentiveness to his patient's pre-op assessment results in a tumour going unnoticed and the expense of their treatment to the trust exceeding the original fee to HolbyCare.

In the wake of the news surrounding staff redundancies, Elizabeth fears that she is one of the first in line to lose her job and is mortified when Hanssen reprimands her for failing to order a HCG test for a female patient. When she falls behind with her ward duties, Ric lends her a hand.


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