Elle Gardner MBChB is a Senior Consultant in emergency medicine and previously Deputy Clinical Lead of the emergency department of Holby City Hospital. She joined the department in May 2016 as a new locum consultant as replacement for Zoe Hanna.
In her first few weeks of working in the ED, she clashed with Clinical Lead Connie Beauchamp. In July 2016, Elle was offered the permanent job as a consultant in the department and also made the department's Deputy Clinical Lead. Following Connie's car crash in August, Elle was appointed as the department's acting Clinical Lead by Hanssen, a position she held for just over two months. In November, she took on the role of permanent Clinical Lead before stepping down less than three months later in February 2017.Elle was Deputy Clinical Lead until January 2018 when Ethan Hardy become Clinical Lead, and Connie Beauchamp took on the role of deputy, whilst on sick leave after her cardiac tumour surgery.
Elle has an easy-going, chaotic, warm and durable personality. She decided to go back to work to escape the domestic chaos of her home-life, only to be thrown back into the breach every time she steps through the ED doors. She strives to leave her maternal role behind her and be strictly Elle the professional, but is always pulled back to being Elle the mother, whether that means providing a shoulder to cry on, a harsh reality check, a wise moral compass, or simply someone to pick up after the young’uns and be the only one to unload the staffroom dishwasher every flippin day. But what she would never admit is that she wouldn’t have it any other way.
After being out-of-touch with the professional world for a decade or so whilst bringing up a gaggle of teenage boys as a single Mum, Elle initially struggles to get her head around life in a fast-paced, modern ED. But her integral medical instinct, coupled with an amazing ability to multi-task, makes Elle a brilliant consultant, which the rest of the team are quick to acknowledge as they welcome her into the fold. Her quick instinct and rebellious streak can sometimes lead to arrogance and recklessness, but no one could ever say that she lacks confidence or courage.
In her childhood and teens, Elle was close friends with Jacob Masters during which time they penned nicknames for each other. Elle's nickname "Pancake" was due to her late development, and Jacob's was "Pudding", from the fact he was overweight and used to take extra portions of dessert as school. During their friendship, they took part in various activities from camping to canoeing together. At some point after school, Elle left to attend medical school and it's likely that Jacob did the same and they became estranged from that point onward.
Elle attended the University of Exeter, graduating with a degree in medicine in 1991. Following the start of her career, Elle gave birth to three sons: Kalen, Luca and Blake. She took a break from her career in the mid-2000s to focus on looking after them. By May 2016 when she started in the ED, they were all teenagers.
Time in the emergency department (2016-)
Elle arrived for her first shift at the ED on 7 May 2016 as a locum consultant as Zoe Hanna's replacement, after having had a break of 10 years from her medical career. Already running late, she decided to take a shortcut through the park on her way to work. However, she ended up hitting Vince Callaghan with her car as he ran out into the road. She waited until the paramedics arrived and accompanied him back to the ED. However, when they arrived Vince went running off to see Shelle who was waiting on the other side of the car park for him. Zoe and Elle went to help, and Shelle stabbed Vince and they all ended up in a side room of The Hope & Anchor. They were forced to try to save his life in there, as Shelle wasn't letting them escape. Eventually Max located them and Shelle ended up stabbing Zoe in the hand which resulted in Elle restraining Shelle against a wall. Once in the ED, Connie understood why she was late, and Hanssen later told Elle to report back to him if she had any concerns about the department.
The following week, Elle and Jacob recognised each other as old friends, much to Connie's surprise. Soon after, Elle caught up with Hanssen to update him on how she was finding work in the ED. Robyn and Louise saw them talking to each other as friends, but decided that they shouldn't mention it to anyone. After catching up with Jacob, she left the ED with him without permission from Connie to attend the scene of an accident at a chemical plant. When they arrived back in the ED, Connie called Elle into her office and disciplined her. Although Elle tried to reason with her, Connie simply told her that her way of running the department was what worked best, and convinced Elle that she had the full support of Hanssen, unaware that he was in fact good friends with Elle.
In June, Hanssen confronted Elle about the fact a patient from the previous week had gone to the press about their painkillers being stolen. He also told her that a sequence of events including Jacob getting shot and Lofty accidentally killing Diane had got the trust suspicious too, and that they'd need an important staff member gone to please "the masses". She told him that if she could help get to the bottom of it she would. Later in the day, Elle asked Charlie about the investigation and he told her it had been closed. She later looked in his locker when he left the key in it and found the drugs which, unbeknown to her, Charlie was hiding for Big Mac. Elle went straight to Rita, and they went to report it to Connie. Connie was angry with Elle for looking in Charlie's locker and although Elle urged Connie to go ahead with the investigation, Connie told her to leave, despite the fact Elle was in fact trying to help Connie. When she later saw Hanssen leaving the ED, she assumed he knew and dropped Charlie's name into conversation therefore revealing him as the culprit. Charlie was later suspended, and Connie revealed to the staff that it was Elle's fault which turned them all, including Jacob, against her.
The following week, the staff continued to avoid Elle as a result of Charlie's suspension. She spoke to Dylan in the staff room, and he revealed to her that she could attempt to redeem herself by trying to find the real thief, although she never followed through with this. She later attempted to assist when some casualties were admitted in the ambulance following an RTC, but Dylan bluntly informed her that she wasn't needed, leaving her standing in reception. Big Mac later admitted to stealing the drugs, therefore clearing Charlie's name.
Towards the end of the month, Elle was still being given the cold shoulder by the rest of the staff. During a stressful night shift, Elle was treating a pregnant woman who was having concerns about the pregnancy. With some assistance from Duffy they were able to treat her. However, they were eventually forced to perform an emergency c-section which resulted in the mother's death but the baby survived. By the end of the day, Charlie told her that she did the right thing, and Jacob was also showing a friendlier side to Elle again.
In July 2016 following a meeting with the board, Connie and Hanssen decided to give Elle the permanent position as a consultant in the department. She was also appointed as Deputy Clinical Lead in replacement for Zoe. The following month just as Charlie's anniversary celebrations had arrived, disaster struck after Elle received a phone-call informing her that Connie and Grace had been involved in a car crash. When Connie arrived in the ED, Elle treated her but Connie refused a CT scan until Grace was in the hospital. When Grace arrived, Elle was there to support Connie when she went to see her, but she was forced to take her away and continue her own treatment. Elle provided support for Jacob towards the end of the day as he was left worrying about both Connie and Grace who's lives both hung in the balance. Elle later pledged to stay in the ED and help with the cleanup in lieu of the dramatic helicopter crash.
A week after the helicopter crash, Elle was appointed as the department's acting Clinical Lead by Hanssen in Connie's absence. She announced to the staff that they'd be required to attend a course at the ambulance station after their shift, much to their disappointment. She later clashed with Louise over the diagnosis of a patient which resulted in Louise kicking a hole in the relatives room wall. Elle spoke to Louise about this later and said that she'd try to get some funding so Louise could fulfil her wish of redecorating it. Elle met the rest of the staff at the ambulance station and revealed that they'd be playing a game of doctors versus nurses basketball as a reward for their stressful shifts recently.
Later in the month, the day of Jacob's official interview for the permanent position of Clinical Nurse Manager arrived. Although Elle found out that he'd got the job from Hanssen in the morning, she kept him in suspense the whole day. Eventually she told him the good news, but only after he'd bought her a coffee and doughnut from the coffee shop. The following month, Elle presented Jacob with a card to congratulate him on his new position with a photo of them when they were younger on it. However, the photo resulted in the fact that Jacob was overweight as a teen become public knowledge. Jacob was initially angry with her for making his private life public, but after speaking with Charlie he forgave her.
In mid-October, Elle was surprised when she discovered Connie was sleeping overnight in the on call room between her frequent visits to Grace. This turned to shock when Elle and Jacob saw Connie in the ED ready for work. However, whilst distracted, Connie inserted false information into a teenage boy's file which resulted in Elle giving him a dosage of paracetamol, something which he was allergic to. Elle spoke to Connie, but she became angry as she though Elle was trying to dissuade her from work in an attempt to take her spot as Clinical Lead. At the end of the day, Elle once again spoke to Connie after the boy's father had been admitted following an overdose as a result of Connie trusting him to throw them away. Elle eventually managed to get Connie to take more time off to visit Grace, which she did.
The following month, Elle briefed the team on the day of their undercover inspection, but was shocked soon after when she saw Connie back down in the ED to work again. She urged Jacob to convince her to go home, but Connie had no plans to do this. Connie was also bitter due to the fact it was Elle's first shift as Clinical Lead. Elle became angry with Jacob during the shift when he admitted to sleeping with someone else, and she tried to convince him to tell Connie. In reception at the end of the shift, Elle attempted to neutralise a rift between the doctors and nurses regarding a complaint which had been lodged against Louise. However, soon mistakes from the shift began spilling out, just as Seb's father Archie was leaving. At this point, he revealed himself as the undercover inspector and that Elle would have his report by the end of the week, which worried her.
On Christmas Eve, Seb went to Elle and told her that Dylan had made a pass at him the night before after the work Christmas party. However, unbeknown to her it was actually the other way around, but she was forced to take it further as she didn't know this. On New Year's Eve, Seb told Elle that he didn't wish to get HR involved, partly due to the fact Dylan had shown confidence in Seb for the new year. Although he asked her to change mentors, she told him that he'd be required to start the whole rotation again. When the rumours started spreading about the allegation, Max warned Dylan of Seb. Dylan went and spoke to Elle, and when she told him about the allegation, Dylan told her it was false which relieved her. However, Louise anonymously sent her the picture of Seb and Dylan hugging in the staff room. Things came to a boil in front of all of the staff, and Dylan accused Seb of lying and that he was a lacking doctor. Elle sent Dylan home, and assured Seb that she'd be contacting HR.
The following day, Elle received a visit from CEO Ric Griffin regarding Seb's allegation. He warned her that the reputation of the hospital would be at stake if the photo were to leak, but she assured him it was contained within the department. Elle was irritated and worried when Seb went to her after Jez had tried to catch Seb confessing the truth, whilst thing were only made worse when Dylan didn't show up to the meeting with her and Ric. However, Elle later discovered that it was because Dylan had been assisting Seb in resus. Following this, Seb admitted to lying and withdrew his allegation. Towards the end of the day, Connie visited Elle after having read through Grace's medical notes. Connie informed her about an error she'd spotted made by Elle, and told her she'd have to report her to the trust.
The following week, a teenage boy who Elle was treating ended up with brain damage, and she blamed herself for not seeing the signs sooner. She was also worried when the GMC decided that they needed more evidence to put her in the clear. Already upset by the day's events, Connie only made it worse by telling her that she wasn't fit to run the department. A week later, Elle received a tip-off that they'd decided to now close the case. However, when she discharged one of Connie's patients who later collapsed, Connie advised him to make a formal complaint against her.
Towards the end of January, Elle was devastated to learn that she'd had another complaint made against her by the patient who Connie had convinced just weeks before. In an attempt to prove herself, Elle jumped back into work after a chat with Jacob. Although Connie was constantly watching over her with little faith, Elle's quick thinking led to a patient's life being saved. After the shift, Elle saw Connie at Charlie and Duffy's wedding reception and Connie told Elle that she'd be gone after the tribunal.
The following week, Elle arrived at the tribunal and was overwhelmed by what Connie was saying to make her sound worse. Although both Dylan and Amira tried to stick up for Elle, they became cornered by Connie's legal representative into saying how they would have done things differently. During the break of the proceedings, Elle found Grace lying on the bathroom floor after she'd smashed a mirror with one of her crutches and suffered from a seizure. Connie was apprehensive to let Elle intervene, but it resulted in her life being saved. Once the proceedings continued and Grace was in the ED receiving treatment, Connie admitted that she had blamed Elle for something which wasn't her fault. Outside, Elle told Connie that she would be resigning as Clinical Lead and handing the role back over to Connie.
In March, Elle was embarrassed when David stood up to her in front of a patient, questioning her decision. She was initially frustrated that she'd been taken down a notch by a nurse, but when his suspicions about the patient's condition proved to be true, she was proud that he'd intervened. In April, Elle was left worried for her job when Sam Strachan, as the new Medical Director, announced that as a result of budget cuts, all consultants would have to re-interview for their jobs.
A few weeks later, Elle was left annoyed with her son, Kalen, when she found a condom wrapper in his room. She told him that he shouldn't be bringing girls back to the family home. However, Kalen soon let on that he'd actually slept with Jez. In anger, Elle confronted Jez in the middle of the ED, which left him embarrassed. Elle later apologised to Kalen, and told him that she was just shocked to find out that he was gay. She also made amends with Jez, and apologised for shouting him down.
Later in April, Elle was amused when Cal convinced the locum doctor to call in sick on the day of their strike, purely to make things harder for Sam. Later that day, Elle's priorities shifted when Cal was brought into the ED, after having been stabbed outside. Despite their best efforts, he died in resus.
In May, Elle's head was turned by policeman Phil Paterson, who was admitted to the ED with chest pains. Although she wanted to keep him in for observation, he soon left when he heard about Hugo Bonning's disappearance. However, he later suffered from a cardiac arrest and was brought into the ED after receiving immediate care from Connie. Whilst recovering, he asked Elle if he could take her on a date, but she declined his offer, revealing that she wasn't allowed to date patients.
In June, Elle visited her son Blake's school to give a talk to the students. During the talk, one of Blake's friends was asked to leave for hurling abuse at Jacob. When Elle questioned why Blake was friends with him, he told her that there were some bad people around and he had to stay on his good side. After the talk whilst Elle was distracted, one of the thugs from a gang managed to get into the school. He punched Blake from behind, sending him falling to the ground, hitting his head. They managed to get him back to the ED where it was hit and miss, but they eventually saved him.
Later in June, the day of the consultant interviews arrived. Elle was worried about her job, but Sam failed to turn up for the interview in the end, as he had left the ED to track down a patient. However, this ultimately had no effect whatsoever, as Sam later stepped down as Medical Director, therefore saving all of the consultants' jobs.
- Elle's car is her sanctuary - her only place of peace and quiet.
- She has a close friendship with Hanssen.
- Elle graduated from the University of Exeter in 1991.
- Elle has three teenage boys, who can be quite a handful.
- She became the Clinical Lead of the ED in November 2016, before stepping down three months later, following her tribunal.
Behind the scenes
Speaking on the role, Griffiths said: "I was filming in Cardiff for Doctor Who last year, so it's great to be back in Wales starting a new role with the Casualty team. Everyone's been extremely welcoming and the storylines are really powerful."
The first appearance of Elle in video footage was released in a trailer posted by the BBC in March 2016. It featured several snippets of scenes with her in, showing her conflict with Connie and friendship with Jacob.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "You Are Your Only Limit" (S31, E22)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Hello, I Must Be Going" (S30, E34)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "Chain Reaction" (S30, E35)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "The Fear" (S30, E42)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "Fall on Me" (S31, E02)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "About My Mother" (S31, E12)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 "Too Much Love Will Kill You" (S31, E07)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 "The Best Day of My Life" (S30, E37)
- ↑ "You Make Me Sick" (S30, E38)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 "History Repeating" (S30, E39)
- ↑ "Too Old for This Shift" (S31, E01)
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 "Party Pooper" (S31, E06)
- ↑ "The Big Day" (S31, E08)
- ↑ "Bah Humbug" (S31, E15)
- ↑ "New Year, New Me, New You" (S31, E16)
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 "What Lurks in the Heart" (S31, E17)
- ↑ "Back to School" (S31, E18)
- ↑ "Little Sister" (S31, E19)
- ↑ "The Stag, the Dog and the Sheep" (S31, E21)
- ↑ "It Starts With the Shoes" (S31, E25)
- ↑ "Sleeping With the Enemy" (S31, E29)
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 "When the Whistle Blows" (S31, E31)
- ↑ "Reap the Whirlwind - Part One" (S31, E32)
- ↑ "Reap the Whirlwind - Part Two" (S31, E33)
- ↑ "End of the Road" (S31, E35)
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 "Roadman" (S31, E36)
- ↑ "It Had to Be You" (S31, E39)
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 BBC Casualty - Elle Gardner