Highly intellectual and enigmatic, Swedish-born Hanssen is the epitome of an exceptional leader with razor-sharp focus and meticulous surgical skill. Hanssen’s aloof manner and dry wit belie an often perceptive and compassionate nature but he would never dream of revealing any private moments of weakness. An omniscient and steadfast presence, Holby is safe in his hands.
Time at Holby City Hospital (2010-13, 2015-18)
Hanssen is introduced as the new joint Director of Surgery at Holby City Hospital, working alongside Connie Beauchamp. In a meeting with the hospital board, he criticises Connie's plan to purchase a new MRI scanner for the cardiothoracic ward as being self-serving and naïve. He later informs the staff that budget cuts and redundancies will have to be made for the good of the hospital in a fraught economic climate. Hanssen considers making general surgeon Ric Griffin redundant, as he is unable to perform clinical duties while undergoing chemotherapy. Connie defends Ric's position, and Hanssen allows her to make the final decision on redundancies, resulting in the dismissal of six nurses. Hanssen later grants Ric an absence of leave to concentrate on his health. Before departing, Ric requests that Hanssen direct his budget cuts away from the general surgery department.
After Connie Beauchamp's resignation from Holby City at the start of 2011, Hanssen becomes the sole Director of Surgery. In March 2011, after attempting to move all Upper-GI surgical cases from Keller ward to St James' Hospital, undermining Ric in the process and causing Ric to form a mutiny with fellow members of staff, Hanssen offers to operate on Ric in a risky bid to remove his terminal cancer.
Henrik's friendship with Sahira Shah, who he hires to Darwin Ward in early 2011, is frowned upon by many of his colleagues, who believe that he is favoring her. Sahira is able to make Hanssen see the error of his ways several times and seems to calm him. Her relationship with Greg, another Darwin surgeon, leads to conflict between the pair, and the belief that Hanssen harbors feelings for Sahira. When the affair between Sahira and Greg comes out, Sahira leaves the hospital, and it is revealed Hanssen feels like Sahira is a daughter to him and is distraught by her departure.
Serena Campbell is hired as a new consultant on Keller Ward, and Hanssen finds himself trapped between her and Ric for several episodes. Later on Hanssen agrees with Serena's non-referral scheme and decides to pilot it. When Hanssen's decision costs a patient his life, the patient's unstable son takes Hanssen hostage; however, the scenario makes Hanssen realize that the NHS' current system is wrong and he campaigns against it. In the following weeks, the pressure from the board and the doubt cast by his colleagues causes Hanssen to depart Holby suddenly and without notice; Serena, and then Imelda Cousins, takes up the position of temporary Director of Surgery.
Jac Naylor tracks Hanssen to Sweden, where he reunites with his father on his deathbed. He agrees to return to Holby, to Serena's anguish, and quiets the board by making Serena his deputy.
Hanssen becomes close to F1 Tara Lo when he discovers she is practicing with a brain tumour, he warns her that if any growth occurs in the tumour she will stop practicing with immediate effect, Tara later begins to notice signs of growth but keeps it a secret. Hanssen organises CT scans to which she refuses to go to but later her boyfriend Ollie Valentine finds a recent CT she had and informs Hanssen who tries to pull her out of theatre. Later he shows her the scan which confirms a 20% growth and with the support of Hanssen, Tara agrees to surgery to remove a large amount of the tumour but following complications in theatre she is pronounced brain-stem dead leaving Hanssen deeply upset.
Hanssen mellows as he returns to the more hands on side of medicine, spending more time treating patients on the wards and developing his working relationships with colleagues. Hanssen departs Holby General quietly after turning over the role of CEO to Serena. Hanssen returns to Sweden where he reconciles with Maja and finally meets his son, Fredrik, and his newborn grandson.
In the thirteenth episode of Series 17 Hanssen returned to his position as CEO following Guy Self's resignation from the post 2 weeks previously. He immediately clashes with Neurosurgeon Guy Self and they constantly argue about Guys plans to have a Neurological Centre at Holby and then later scraps the idea. Hanssen and Guy did not see eye to eye on everything on the management of Holby. In October 2016 Henrik resigned after getting calls from his family saying he needs to return to Sweden. At the end of the episode he appointed Ric Griffin as the new CEO and made his departure from Holby City Hospital.
Hanssen left to visit his son in Sweden and to get to know his grandson, Hanssen returned back to Holby in 2017 as he was asked to be the best man at Mr T's wedding to Inga Olsen. He later took back the role as the CEO.
Due to the stress of running the hospital, Henrik stepped down from CEO and Serena Campbell took over as Acting CEO. There are no spoilers to tell if he is returning to Holby anytime soon.
Behind the scenes
- See also:Henrik Hanssen at Casualty Wiki.
Guy Henry has portrayed Henrik Hanssen from 2010 until he departed the show in 2013, he later returned to the show in 2015 and left again in 2018. Guy has also had many crossovers in sister show Casualty since 2010.