From Holby City to West Cork high street

If you’ve ever seen the BBC's popular drama Holby City, there is a good chance you have seen Sarah Boys’ hands in the operating theatre. After hanging up her scrubs from the show, Sarah and her family are now turning their attention to retail with the launch of their mobility and daily living aids store.

Situated in Main Street, Bantry, Co.Cork, the store stocks the latest aids from Irish and UK based suppliers.

Working in the medical profession since qualifying as a nurse in the UK over 30 years ago, Sarah has spent nearly two decades selling for a range of medical companies in both the UK and Ireland. Most recently, her role has been advising on medical and continence products to hospitals, nursing homes and retail outlets in Munster and South Leinster.

It was whilst working in the UK that Sarah found herself working on the BBC’s long-running medical drama, Holby City. At first, she was approached for props for the show but as the relationship developed and the show expanded production, she was offered the position of a medical adviser.

In order to make the show more authentic, the medical advisers, who had both worked in hospital theatres, were offered acting parts and the roles of ‘Scrubber Pat’ and ‘Scrubber Joan’ were born.

Sarah told us: "It was much easier to advise the actors playing surgeons if we were in the scene with them, and it led to my hands starring in the opening credits for years!”

Although predominantly working on Holby City, she also found herself on different sets in the BBC studios, with occasional stints on Casualty and Eastenders.

Sarah has now left the small-screen behind and turned her attention to the running of the largest dedicated mobility and daily living aid store in West Cork.

She was inspired to launch Aid and Enable in Bantry, following the surgery of a family member.

Sarah explained: "A few years ago my sister, Debbie, moved over from the UK. She inadvertently became one of the underlying principles behind the shop.

"Debbie had a double knee replacement last year. Of course, she couldn’t drive and we had to go all the way to Cork to get the equipment she needed. We realised there was a real need for something more local for residents.”

The new store will see all family members getting involved in making the new venture a success. Debbie, a former deputy-head, has recent retail experience and will be a key member of staff. Husband, John-Paul has a background working with adults and children with physical and intellectual disabilities and is the Company Secretary. The couple’s son, Zak, works in a local print shop and has designed the website, signage and logos whilst daughter Áine will be helping out on Saturdays after she’s finished her homework!

With her focus on the new shop, it does not mean however that Sarah doesn’t remember fondly her days in front of the camera.

"It’s funny to remember rubbing shoulders with BBC stars at Elstree Studios when you’re fitting continence pads in rural West Cork!”

Aid and Enable have an online shop and the retail shop has a private consultancy room for advice on all products and individual assessment, recommendation and fitting of continence wear.

To find out more, visit www.aidandenable.ie