New legislation and Sister Ursula cause serious problems for Shelagh and Dr Turner. Meanwhile, a first-time mother from the Chinese community faces an unexpected crisis.
The winds of change are blowing through Poplar, as a new government paper calls for the eradication of small hospitals in favour of large general hospitals. Dr Turner and Shelagh are informed that an inspection of the maternity home will decide its fate.
Sister Ursula has her own anxieties about the efficiency of Nonnatus House, so she introduces a new 20-minute rule for all antenatal and postnatal house visits. Barbara struggles the most with this, as she is drawn into helping a first-time mother from the Chinese community. It soon becomes apparent that the shortened visit might have allowed a serious oversight. With the future of the maternity home hanging by a thread, serious questions are raised over Sister Ursula's suitability for her role.
Meanwhile, Sister Monica Joan has started disappearing for long periods of time and there are growing concerns for Sister Mary Cynthia's whereabouts.
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
|Sister Julienne||Jenny Agutter|
|Nurse Phyllis Crane||Linda Bassett|
|Sister Monica Joan||Judy Parfitt|
|Nurse Trixie Franklin||Helen George|
|Shelagh Turner||Laura Main|
|Nurse Barbara Gilbert||Charlotte Ritchie|
|Sister Winifred||Victoria Yeates|
|Tom Hereward||Jack Ashton|
|Dr Patrick Turner||Stephen McGann|
|Fred Buckle||Cliff Parisi|
|Cyril Chen||Chris Lew Kum Hoi|
|Lucy Chen||Alice Connor|
|Oilen Chen||Lucy Sheen|
|Mrs Evans||Emily Houghton|
|Sister Ursula||Harriet Walter|
|Mrs Collier||Sandy Foster|
|Timothy Turner||Max Macmillan|
|Angela Turner||Alice Brown|
|Nurse Delia Busby||Kate Lamb|
|Mr Greenwood||Patrick Brennan|
|Mr Kenley||Gerrard McArthur|
|Voice of Mature Jennifer Worth||Vanessa Redgrave|
|Executive Producer||Pippa Harris|
|Executive Producer||Heidi Thomas|
|Production Company||Neal Street Productions|