Grace Ofori-Attah’s medical drama on ITV, “Malpractice,” is a deeper look into the negligence and misdeeds that happen inside a hospital where organizations make millions by making use of illegal ways. Niamh Algar plays Dr. Lucinda Edwards, a doctor dealing with addiction who finds herself in a difficult situation when a patient in her care accidentally dies. What follows is a complete breakdown of her seemingly good life, with investigations launched against her and her family life falling apart. Ofori-Attah’s show is engaging, gripping, and shows the exact tensions that doctors are faced with on a regular basis while saving patients’ lives. In a world of unlimited content and some rather bad TV, “Malpractice” might be a welcome change for you if you’ve enjoyed shows like “Dr. House” or “Grey’s Anatomy.” Here’s what happens in this 5-part series:
The Overdosed Patient
One evening, an overdose patient named Edith Owusu is brought into the Accident & Emergency ward of the Royal Hospital in West Yorkshire, where Dr. Lucinda Edwards is presiding. Meanwhile, she’s constantly having to avoid calls from someone called Rose, who demands to speak to her and keeps calling. With the superior, Dr. Leo Harris, out, Lucinda is tasked with handling the emergency treatment for Edith, but the process is interrupted when a gunman barges into the hospital and brandishes a gun, asking for his bleeding friend to be treated. Lucinda provides Dr. Ramya Morgan, a much younger and far less experienced doctor, to oversee Edith while all the attention is shifted to the gunshot victim. The doctors save the young man, but Ramya arrives on the scene, leaving Edith unattended against Lucida’s instructions. Lucinda runs back to her, but even after 30 minutes of chest compression, they’re unable to save Edith. While huffing out in frustration, Lucinda pushes Ramya out of her way, blaming her for Edith’s death.
An inquiry is set up by the Medical Investigation Unit, or MIU, and Lucinda leaves for the office, bidding farewell to her toddler daughter, Abbie, and her husband, Tom. Lucinda finds out her friend Dr. George Adjei will be present in the investigation, with Dr. Callahan being the presiding officer, and the first day’s inquiry doesn’t prove much other than the fact that Ramya stated Lucinda’s instructions weren’t clear. At home, she struggles with the addiction she has to diazepam while constantly fielding texts from the same Rose. As Callahan and Adjei continue their investigation into Harris, Adjei begins shadowing Lucinda and her team to figure out how the team works. Adjei finds out that while Ramya isn’t a big fan of Lucinda, junior doctor Oscar Beattie is positively smitten with her and goes the extra mile to defend her.
Lucinda finally meets Rose, which was just a pseudonym for GP Rob Thornbury, Lucinda’s former teacher, and while she constantly tries to tell him that a detailed investigation can expose all the other patients that she’d covered for, he pleads with her to let it blow over. While speaking to Ramya, Adjei finds out that Lucinda had told her much before Edith was brought in that an overdose patient would be arriving. This is significant because MIU then establishes a chain of calls from an unregistered number that spoke to Lucinda before Edith arrived, and the same number also alerted MIU about the young woman overdosing. As Lucinda is heading to the investigation, Rob catches up to her and begins forcing her not to come clean to the MIU as she’s decided, and in the scuffle, she accidentally pushes him onto the street, and he’s run over by a car.
The Awards Function
“Malpractice” Episode 2 begins with trouble. Lucinda walks into the RH only to find Rob has been brought in as an accident patient. She treats him with intense care, saves his life in a highly risky procedure, and then clears all her communication with Rob after throwing up in the washroom. After postponing her meeting with the MIU for that day, when she visits on the second day, Callahan and Adjei ask her about the phone calls, which she denies, and then they ask her about the redacted section in her portfolio. As it turns out, she had to work during the pandemic, and she developed anxiety (which explains the diazepam addiction), but the investigation keeps pursuing her. Lucinda later learns from Harris that her application to be promoted to consultant is being withheld for the time being, and despite being warned not to be present at that night’s award function for the doctors, she shows up.
Adjei and Callahan are also at the same function to find out information from Ramya, and they watch as Lucinda interacts with important people, including Professor Corrinne Lonergan and Zubair Singh, the owner of the Wellspring Pharmacy Chain. At the award distribution, Lucinda’s team is selected as the best team during COVID, and Zubair hands her the award. She proceeds to pat herself and every other doctor who worked through such hardships on the back as the board members and the MIU team look upset. Later, Adjei and Callahan take Ramya away to somewhere private and ask her to supply information on Lucinda to them, and she promises to think about it. The next day, Lucinda uses Oscar’s credentials to investigate Edith’s medical details and then steals Rob’s phone from his ward but is severely frustrated when she can’t unlock it. She asks Ramya for 40 mg of diazepam to knock out a patient she’s stitching, but she writes down only 10 mg, keeping the rest for herself. She hands the phone to a store to unlock it and then visits Rob’s wife, Eva, to tell her that he was prescribing patients who weren’t being treated by him. Eva quickly becomes furious and screams at her before throwing Lucinda out of her house.
At the hospital, another overdose patient, Milo Hanbury, is brought in, and Lucinda saves his life. She then learns from his mother that he was completely cured at the Guelder Clinic, the same name Lucinda had seen while going through Edith’s details. She finds out that other patients, including Camilla Woodham, Alexander Taylor, and Milo Hanbury, had also been treated at the Guelder Clinic, where Eva Tait is a doctor. As the MIU’s suspicions keep rising because Lucinda saved Milo the same way she operated on the previous overdose patients, she retrieves Rob’s phone and listens to a voicemail where an unknown person asks Rob to deal with her, lest he too goes down with her.
“Malpractice” Episode 3 is all about the inquest made into Edith’s death, where her father, barrister Anthony Owusu, would be representing her, so the hospital lawyer reminds the entire team to present a united front. Edith’s mother insists that her daughter didn’t plan to commit suicide, but the coroner states that she’d taken high doses of fentanyl, a much deadlier drug than heroin, which caused her to overdose. When Eva is called to the stand as Edith’s doctor at Guelder Clinic, she says the young woman had suicidal ideation. Outside, Lucinda tries to corner Eva about Rob prescribing Edith Fentanyl, but Eva says Lucinda’s own drug addiction might be exposed if she doesn’t back off. Desperate because of her addiction and itching to find out about Rob’s plans, Lucinda texts Camilla Woodham from his stolen phone.
The next day, Sir Anthony grills Ramya to tears and then blasts Lucinda for her negligence, but his emotions get in the way, and he’s asked to control himself. The judge decides Edith’s death was caused by suicide and asks for a review of the board that trains the doctors, a decision that breaks Sir Anthony. Back at the hospital, matron Beth finds out from Oscar, who’s doing an audit about all the wasted drugs, that Ramya had taken 40 mg of diazepam instead of 10, as Lucinda had prescribed. When Beth shouts at Ramya for making this mistake, she heavily protests that this wasn’t her fault.
Adjei visits Guelder Clinic to ask about Lucinda since she’s signed off on all the records, but the receptionist says there’s no Lucinda Edwards in there. He also learns that Eva was on maternity leave during Edith’s death, and the approach of the hospital toward getting patients out as fast as possible strikes him as odd. Callahan remarks to Adjei that she finds out that Lucinda had signed off on all the previous cases and marked them as cases of deliberate overdose, as she’d done for Edith because she probably didn’t want anyone to think it was an accident. This would be a probable reason if someone wanted to avoid the drugs being looked at and decided to visit Anthony to ask permission to investigate Edith’s flat. Inside the flat, they find no drugs, but Adjei recovers a prescription where Edith was prescribed Fentanyl, and it’s signed off by Lucinda Edwards. Meanwhile, Lucinda gets a text from Camilla regarding the appointment, and after handing over the drugs, she decides to follow her to the pharmacy. However, at home, Tom finds Abbie unconscious after having swallowed diazepam tablets and rushes her to the hospital while desperately trying to reach his wife, but she doesn’t pick up. Lucinda approaches the clerk, saying she knows he charged Camilla extra for Fentanyl and asks to see her manager, but by the time the manager, Zubair Singh, shows up, Lucinda is running back because she’s just heard the voicemails that everyone at the hospital has left her about Abbie.
Troubles Closing In
Tom claims that the tablets were from a shoulder injury, but Beth confronts Lucinda about stealing medicines, and later, Tom leaves with Abbie for his parents’ house, asking his wife to seek help. After a meeting at the hospital trust board where the director wanted Lucinda fired, but others voted against it, she’s called to the Wellspring Pharmacy, where Zubair himself asks her to stand down if she doesn’t want her life ruined. The MIU investigation takes a new direction, and Lucinda is called in and questioned until she breaks down and names Rob Thornbury and his wife Eva Tait and blames them for everything, but Callahan says someone reported her drug problem, and hence she’s being suspended and will have to face a tribunal where if found guilty of prescribing Fentanyl to Edith, she’ll be jailed. Lucinda visits Abbie at Tom’s parents’ house, where she learns he called social services on her, while the MIU visits Eva’s home to gather more information. Eva quickly goes on the defensive and says Lucinda used to date Rob, and the breakup really impacted Lucinda, and then asks Adjei and Callahan to leave. While going back to return her card and keys, Lucinda enters the room her team is in, and she goes to Ramya, blaming her for complaining about Lucinda’s addiction, but Oscar reveals that it was he who did it. Lucinda storms out and visits Zubair, claiming she wants to work for him. She learns how the doctors are made to prescribe drugs and asks for loads of diazepam.
The Murder Attempt
“Malpractice” Season 1 finale begins with Lucinda asking Adjei to come to her place to tell her something, and the next thing we know, he walks into Callahan’s office and asks her to speak to Lucinda. She plays the recording where Zubair is explaining the process of illegally prescribing drugs, but Callahan isn’t fully convinced and doesn’t change her stance against Lucinda. She then informs her that Rob is dead, and outside, the protagonist breaks down in Adjei’s arms, admitting that it was a scuffle with her that led to Rob being pushed into the traffic. She then visits Eva and details the situation the women are in and asks her to come clean to the MIU, but Eva says it’s much larger than just Zubair. He’d noticed Rob’s habit of wanting to help addicts, and he started giving him more and more drugs to prescribe to rich addicts. Lucinda calls Oscar, apologizes to him for her behavior in the hospital, and requests that he give Milo Hanbury’s address. She then visits Milo to get the fentanyl patch he’d overdosed on and calls the shipping company to find out it’d been recalled. She meets with Oscar, uses his audit to find out that that particular drug was set to be thrown into waste, and blasts into the director’s office, claiming corruption, in the presence of Harris and Oscar, while the director has Lucinda removed by force.
At her home, Lucinda gets a call from Camilla that her friend has overdosed, and when she rushes over, she’s ambushed by two massive men who hold her down as Zubair injects her with a severe amount of oxycodone. However, Camilla hides and calls for an ambulance, and when Lucinda is stretchered inside, Ramya takes the lead and saves her life. The next day, Callahan and Adjei visit her and say Eva confessed that she’d placed that prescription with Lucinda’s signature in Edith’s flat and detailed everything about Zubair. The MIU visits Leo Harris and asks questions about his charity fund, Developing Aid, through which the excess drugs were supposed to be shipped to developing nations. When Harris refuses to admit that he’s profited from the illegal sales of drugs, the investigators leave, and Harris is quickly arrested for his role as his offshore banking account is discovered. The next pieces fell like dominoes, with Eva arrested and Zubair stabbed by the same gunshot victim named Yussef, whose life Lucinda had saved.
‘Malpractice’ Season 1 Ending Explained
Lucinda visits the hospital before her tribunal and thanks Ramya for saving her life, and then her representative tells her the only way she can avoid severe charges is by admitting that Lucinda is a diazepam addict. While Lucinda is struggling to make up her mind, Tom visits her and asks her to admit that she’s an addict, but she keeps saying that the drugs help her cope and ensure that she doesn’t break down during a shift. He listens to her and offers her every support he can as she breaks down and admits that she needs help. “Malpractice” Season 1 ends with Lucinda walking towards the courtroom as her husband wishes her luck.
The ending shows how doctors are stuck in a system where they need to stay sane in the moments of extreme pressure and one slip-up can cause someone to lose their lives, which is why many doctors can’t handle the pressure. Lucinda was holding on despite such enormous pressure because she depended on her diazepam addiction and when that’d be taken away she might not be able to function. However, it’s evident she needs help because she can’t live this way and unless she finds therapy, she can’t be anything, let alone a doctor. Now, to find out about her future, we’ve got to wait for Season 2 of this amazing medical show.