Martin "Ash" Ashford is a doctor and former senior consultant in the Emergency department at Holby City Hospital. In his 30s, Ash worked as a nurse at Holby City A&E from 1990 to 1996. He left to teach at a local college after he was acquitted of physically attacking a racist patient, but returned briefly later in 1996 to marry Laura, a PR officer in the hospital.
In the intervening years Ash retrained as a doctor, eventually passing his exams and becoming a consultant. Ash and Zoe have differing management styles, but they soon bond in support of each other.
Although his marriage didn’t last Ash has a daughter, Ella. When she was a teenager, Ash had to put his foot down with her, but she still remained a rebellious and challenging presence in his life and the ED.
Doctor by trade, Ash is a nurse at heart and as such isn’t afraid to go to anyone who he thinks might help in a given situation, which gains him much respect. Ash is no pushover – he has strong opinions and is happy to say the things no one else will say. He’s also a pragmatist and a long-termist – able to see the bigger picture and stay calm in a crisis.
Patrick Robinson has portrayed Ash in Casualty since his first appearance in 1990. After his departure in 1996, he did not appear again until 2013, when he returned as a doctor. In addition, he had a few one off appearances between his departure in 1996 and return in 2013.
The character made his final appearance in the episode "Solomon's Song" but had no actual on-screen exit, and the following episode "Next Year's Words" revealed Ash had left in-between that time.