Sister Julienne feared the worst in last week's episode of Call the Midwife when board of health member Dr Threapwood informed her that Nonnatus House would be undergoing some big changes.


"I've been worried about the council's attitude to Nonnatus House for some time, but things have taken a marked turn for the worse," she said.

And in tonight's episode, we learned what the board had decided.

After Threapwood listed his concerns – "financially inefficient and too dependent on the Turner practice", the use of "dangerous unskilled labour for maintenance", and "private charity" aka Matthew routinely picking up the bill for various expenses – the doctor delivered the verdict.

Nonnatus House is to lose its agency status and its autonomy. That means every staff member will be in the direct employment of the health service, and the building can be closed down "as and when it deems appropriate".

The midwives have faced more down challenges than we could possibly recall. From a train crash that left lives hanging in the balance to an E coli outbreak that forced Nonnatus House to close its doors, they've seen it all.

Nurse Trixie in the maternity ward in her uniform with a concerned expression on her face
Helen George as Nurse Trixie in Call the Midwife. Neal Street Productions/Emma Barrott

And while their methods may, at times, be unconventional, according to the powers that be, their commitment to the people of Poplar cannot be questioned.

But unlike viewers, the board do not share in our fondness for its eccentricities, which poses a significant question: what does its new status mean for the midwives in real terms?

Nurse Crane has been permitted to keep on working, but what will they make of Sister Monica Joan?

Will the midwives be subjected to a brutal re-training programme that puts them through their paces like never before?

Given that Matthew's donations will no longer be accepted, will Nonnatus House be forced to cut back on certain amenities and all luxuries?

If Threapwood has his way, it's going to be anything but plain sailing.

Read more: Call the Midwife delivers troubling Lucille update after her departure

Call the Midwife continues on Sunday 5th February at 8pm and is also available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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