Serena Wendy Campbell (born 1 October) is a consultant general surgeon and current Clinical Lead of Holby City Hospital's Acute Admissions Unit. She joined the hospital on its Keller Ward in March 2012, and transferred to AAU after.
Charmingly candid and utterly professional, Serena has arrived at Holby to shake up the old order. Unlike many of her contemporaries she has an outstanding business brain, with a Harvard MBA under her belt.
Equally at home in the boardroom or in theatre, she is an unapologetic achiever and fearless architect of change. Wielding her iron fist in an exquisite velvet glove, Serena is a force to be reckoned with.
Serena is portrayed as being candid, professional, manipulative and efficient. She also has an MBA from Harvard University making her a good manager, as well as a good surgeon. Russell commented that Serena did not care what people thought about her. Serena was brought to the hospital by Henrik Hanssen to help the place run more efficiently. She immediately clashed with Ric Griffin. Further exploration of Serena's background began when her mother, Adrienne, and daughter, Elinor, were introduced, followed by her ex-husband, Edward, in 2013. He and Serena briefly reconciled until she learned that he was a secret alcoholic. Serena also faced disappointment when she passed over for the job of CEO again. In 2014, she had to cope with Adrienne's vascular dementia diagnosis and the worsening of her conduction. Both Serena and Russell have received a positive response from television critics.
Time at Holby City Hospital (2012-)
Serena was recruited by Henrik Hanssen to help run things more efficiently and make the figures work. Serena immediately clashed with her new colleague Ric Griffin. When Serena treated a cancer patient with innovative surgery against Ric's advice, it sparked a power game between them. Serena also wanted to get in the middle of Ric's working relationship with Antoine Malick, and get Malick on her side. Ric and Serena have a love-hate relationship.
In June 2012, Serena's work and personal lives clashed when her teenage daughter, Elinor, arrived on the wards with her friend Gabby. When Serena confronted her daughter, Elinor revealed that she and Gabby had drunk alcohol and taken ecstasy. Gabby was also suffering from an ectopic pregnancy, which forced Serena and Ric to team up and save her. Serena was "glad of Ric's help" and the pair bonded over parenthood. However, they clashed again when Serena interfered in Ric's treatment of her mother Adrienne. After she was informed that Adrienne was not a priority, Serena managed to get her a theatre slot, leaving Ric to threaten to report her. Following Adrienne's surgical procedure, nurse Chantelle Lane did not perform vital post-op checks and Adrienne suffered a stroke. A "distraught" Serena blamed Chantelle for her mother's condition.
Serena later insisted that the Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) should not refer patients to Keller ward, but when it started to cause problems, she had a crisis of confidence. Serena later backed down when Chrissie Williams wanted to bring a patient, with a degloving injury to her leg, up to Keller. Chrissie told Serena about the history of the patient and gave her photographs of her injury. Serena could not resist the chance to operate as the area of surgery was her speciality. However, Serena wanted to perform the operation on AAU and asked Chrissie to join her in surgery, as she was impressed by her. Serena also wanted Chrissie to move to Keller and be close by her side, as she realised Chrissie had no problems standing up to authority figures. Serena was later reunited with Imelda Cousins when she was appointed acting CEO of the hospital. Serena and Imelda previously worked together, but Serena does not immediately recall Imelda, as the last time they met Imelda was overweight. It takes a little while for Serena to realise their shared memories!
After acting as CEO following Hanssen's departure, Serena was not pleased when Guy Self was then appointed CEO over her. Serena was unaware of Guy's arrival and when she demanded to know who he was, he informed her in "no uncertain terms" that he was her new boss and she would have to watch herself. When Guy and Serena had to go into theatre together, Michie commented that Guy was threatened by her. In May 2014, Serena suffered a particular stressful day when Guy asked her to file a report early and Adrienne turned up at the hospital. Serena found Adrienne's presence "extremely irritating" and had to show restraint when Adrienne used Serena's laptop and lost the report she was working on. At the same time, Serena was trying to treat a patient, Lennie Keane, who had been admitted with a broken shoulder, but everything went pear-shaped with him and his son.
In January 2017, Serena's daughter Elinor turned up on AAU, wanting to write a report on her mother. However, when Serena revealed that she was no longer deputy CEO, Elinor was angry as she'd already sent the article off to the papers. Whilst driving off in anger, she accidentally hit Jason with her car, when he pushed Serena out of the way. Jason required surgery for liver damage, whilst Elinor was interviewed by the police. Elinor's step-mother Liberty turned up, which irritated Serena. Although Jasmine tried to check Elinor over, she insisted that she was okay, and Jasmine was unable to finish. Shortly after, Elinor collapsed on the toilet floor and it transpired that she had brain damage, and they wouldn't be able to save her. Serena was devastated, and had to ring Edward to tell him the news. By the following week, they'd taken Elinor off of life support and she died.
In 2017, Serena took sabbatical leave after being unable to cope at work after her daughter had died. In May, Henrik had confirmed to Nina Karnik that Serena's departure had left a general surgeon's vacancy at the hospital and Nina successfully applied for her old job, leaving the post in November.
Serena sent the AAU staff some Extra Virgin Olive Oil as she had said to have moved to live in the South of France. Bernie had joined her in France as she is starting a job in a military hospital as she claims "You can take the girl out of the military, but you can't take the military out of the girl".
In Series 20, Serena returned to steady the ship after Hanssen’s sudden leave.
Behind the scenes
Catherine Russell joined the cast of Holby City in May 2012, she took a short break in 2017 and returned in Series 20.