Lara started work at Holby A&E as SHO at the beginning of series 16. Lara, from Australia, had just come from working on the front line in Sierra Leone. After performing an emergency caesarian, she revealed that she had operated out in the field, having got her Fellowship before she went, but had become bored with with routine surgery and decided to start work in A&E, for a new adventure.
Lara seemed interested when Patrick started flirting with her, but was not impressed when she found out he had a girlfriend. Later on Patrick, still seeing his girlfriend Rachel, asked Lara out, but Lara turned him down, as she already had a date. After Rachel's death, however, Lara was there for Patrick, and invited him back to the cottage where she was staying with friends. When he didn't return from chopping up firewood, Lara phoned the police, who eventually found him lying by a stream, half-drowned, after Rachel's husband had attacked him. Lara's boyfriend turned up as Patrick was being taken into the ambulance, but realised that Lara was more concerned with Patrick, and they decided to split up. Lara sat by Patrick's bedside, and was there when he came round. After that they grew closer, and eventually became an item. Things grew complicated when Patrick got a consultant's post in London, and Lara, having passed her MRCP Part 2, wanted to stay in Holby to try to get Patrick's old job. Patrick proposed to her, but she wouldn't accept, not wanting to follow him to London. The evening after Patrick nearly died in an RTA, however, they went for a meal and both were prepared to make compromises so they could be together. This time, when Patrick proposed, Lara accepted. But soon afterwards, Patrick collapsed with an unseen head injury from the RTA, and despite the A&E team's best efforts, he died.
As Lara tried to come to terms with Patrick's death, she also had to come to terms with his locum replacement Simon. They were constantly arguing, and found they were up against one another for the permanent SPR post. Lara was upset to find out that Simon got the job.
Lara was deeply affected when rape victim Melanie Collier was brought in to A&E, especially when she realised that it was Melanie's husband, DI David Collier, who had raped her. Despite Lara's persuasions, Melanie decided not to report it, and Lara was unable to do anything. When DI Collier came in to A&E again a couple of weeks later, Lara ruined his investigation by telling a patient's mother that her son was dead - Collier had deliberately witheld this in order to find out more information. After the shift, Collier attacked her by her car. Lara, terrified, grabbed a brick and hit him with it, seriously injuring him. She called an ambulance, and told the police what had happened. At first it seemed that Collier would recover, but as the A&E team were fighting to save Nikki's life, the police turned up in resusc: David Collier had had a relapse and died. They arrested Lara in connection with his death.
By the beginning of series 17, Lara had been suspended from work and was preparing for her court case. Dropping in on A&E during a crisis, she wanted to help out, despite warnings that she could be struck off for doing so, but Harry stopped her. The court case began, but when Melanie Collier told the court she had not been raped by her husband, things looked black for Lara. Harry and Duffy did their best as witnesses to back up Lara's story, but the jury returned a verdict of guilty. Lara was sentenced to three years imprisonment. When her cellmate tried to kill herself, Lara helped save her life, but was told she wouldn't be thanked for doing so. She felt she was cracking up, and wasn't hopeful that an appeal would help. Bullied by her fellow inmates, Lara told Duffy she wasn't going to go through with the appeal - unless Melanie Collier changed her evidence the verdict would not be changed, and if she didn't appeal she was guaranteed to be moved to a lower-security prison. But after Duffy managed to convince Melanie to tell the truth, the appeal went ahead and Lara was freed. Thanks to Harry, the board allowed Lara to take up her old job. But she was frustrated to find that her work had to be supervised and she was not allowed to work in resusc. Things came to a head when she had to deal with a suspected domestic violence case. Lara finally broke down, and Harry offered her a room in his house as she came to terms with her ordeal. But it soon became clear that Harry's wife was not too happy with Lara being there. Lara, recovering by now, found herself a new place.