Hammersmith-based psychiatrist Dr Roopak Khara is one of only 12 frontline healthcare workers in the UK to have their picture taken by acclaimed photographer Rankin to mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.
Dr Khara, a General Adult Psychiatrist at West London NHS Trust, was selected in recognition of playing an integral part in the opening of the UK’s first Covid-19 ward for mental health patients, at Avonmore Ward, Hammersmith & Fulham Mental Health Unit. Her photograph will be showcased at local bus stops, roadside billboards as well as Piccadilly Circus throughout this week.
In a mark of respect and thanks to the NHS, Rankin offered to take portraits of 12 people across the country playing a vital role in the NHS response to Covid-19. Rankin is best known for his work with famous personalities including the Queen, David Bowie and Kate Moss.
Dr Roopak Khara said: “I’m so incredibly proud and honoured to represent the team which set up Avonmore Ward to care for patients with severe mental illness who’ve tested positive for Covid-19. Everyone, from the porters to the domestic team to doctors and the nurses, came together to care for our patients in response to the national crisis. The team truly represents the spirit of the NHS in action.”
Carolyn Regan, Chief Executive of West London NHS Trust, said: “Dr Khara embodies everything that our Trust represents. She puts the welfare of her patients first and helps some of the most vulnerable people in society, such as those with Covid-19 and complex mental health needs. We are very proud of Dr Khara’s achievements and her team working alongside her through such a challenging time.”
On this project, Rankin, said: “As the coronavirus pandemic began to unfold, I was moved by the incredible efforts of people across the NHS and I wanted to document who they are and their role in fighting this disease. Taking a portrait is a unique and intimate experience, even with social distancing in place. Everyone had their own inspiring story which to them was just doing their job. I hope these images portray the resilience and courage they show every day in the face of real adversity.”