Call the Midwife Wiki

Olive Macketts is a terminally ill patient under the care of Nancy Corrigan, she is dying of cancer so the nurses must work to keep her pain at bay. Appeared in the first episode of season twelve. She was played by Clare Burt.


Olive Macketts is a patient suffering from terminal cancer who discharged herself against hospital against medical advice. Nurse Nancy Corrigan is assigned to her and calls on the house that she lives in with her landlady Jessie who called for Dr Turner as Olive was in so much pain. In her bedroom Dr Turner gives an antiemetic which he promises will cause her pain to ease off, she pants and says that she felt like she was being stabbed again and again, Nancy gets her more comfy and asks where her pain was, Olive says the pain was in her breast bone and ribs. Everyone promises Olive they’ll have a plan in place to keep the pain at bay.  

While in his car Nancy and Dr Turner discuss the cancer she has, multiple myeloma (cancer of the plasma cells) and how it can be one of the most painful cancers and how she would be desperately anaemic. Both expected kidney failure would be the thing that would take her, all they could do was make sure that Olive wouldn’t end up begging for less time. ‘

Nancy calls as Olive listens to children playing outside her house as prisms light up her room. Nancy offers to close the window but Olive likes hearing what was happening outside, explaining she grew up in Poplar and liked to know she was home after being away a long time. Nancy asks if she ran away to see the world and Olive laughs and says she joined the land army so she only saw ploughed fields and potato's and turnips. Nancy asks if she is keeping on top of her pain and Olive explains that Jessie was keeping her in line.  

Olive needed to use the toilet but she could barely move, Nancy offers the bedpan but Olive refuses, citing the day she gave into a bedpan she’ll know she’s dying. Nancy tries to get her onto the commode but Olive sobs and shrieks from pain trying to get to the bedpan, Jessie storms into the room and helps Olive, saying she wasn’t a nurse but Olive needed her more. Olive and Jessie embrace each other agreeing to no more secrets. When downstairs Jessie reveals that she and Olive are in fact a lesbian couple who had to hide in plain sight due to the negative attitudes towards homosexuality at the time. That was the reason Olive discharged herself from the hospital as Jessie could not be Olive’s next of kin so unable to be there for her in hospital.  

Nancy and another nurse Trixie give her some oral morphine. Trixie would stay with Olive for a few hours saying the nurses at Nonnatus House were like the windmill girls, Olive guesses they had great legs but Trixie said it was because they never close and they both chuckle. Olive is given oxygen and Jessie spends time showing her photo albums, she also reminds her of the first time she had lemons in a gin and it, that Olive thought they made her lips sting but Jessie waited and kissed them better.  

Olive began her final night with Jessie right at her side. Olive died in the morning, Jessie asks for a land army uniform they kept, Jessie said she’d put a prism in her coffin but there’d be no light there. Jessie was devastated by Olive’s death and wondered what to put at description of informant for the death certificate, Miss Higgins said she could put present at death. It was something that recorded the fact that Olive was part of Jessie’s story and Jessie part of hers, up until the very end.