Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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MSc Speech and Language Sciences, University College London
Neurological conditions including Brain Injury and Stroke
Low Awareness State
Since gaining my Masters in Speech and Language Therapy from the University College London in 2006, I have specialised in the rehabilitation of adults with neurological disorders. I currently work as a Clinical Specialist in complex Neuro-trauma and Neurology at a hospital in Bath. In addition, I am the lead Therapist for The Speech Network, an Independent Speech Therapy service within the South West.
My previous 12 years experience have been working within a variety of environments, both NHS and privately, including the world-renowned National Hospital for Neurology and Neuro-disability, the Regional Rehabilitation Unit specialising in the treatment of complex and severe disabilities and as the Lead Therapist co-ordinating a team at the nationally recognised 'Best Stroke Unit in England' at Northwick Park Hospital. I have developed Highly Specialist skills in Videofluoroscopy (swallowing x-rays), FEES (swallowing assessment by endoscopy) and management of patients with a Tracheostomy. I have high levels of clinical skill in specialist assessment, report writing and treatment of dysphasia, dyspraxia, dysarthria and cognitive communication difficulties as a result of a neurological impairment.
I am experienced in leadership and supervision of others and as working as part of a multi-disciplinary team. I am highly motivated to make a positive difference. I have been a voluntary patient and public involvement focus group co-ordinator in order to influence service development from the patient and carer perspective. This involved excellent negotiation skills when presenting to the stroke board and with senior team leaders. I been involved in international research projects for dysphagia and presented my own research at national stroke and aphasia conferences. I have a wide range of experience working with different languages and cultures. I have lived and worked overseas in Japan, Bangladesh, Ghana and Myanmar.
For two weeks in October 2017 and again in October 2018 I volunteered at the Royal Asia Hospital, Myanmar providing Speech Therapy training and consultancy, which included development of stroke pathway for dysphagia and training core MDT members in basic dysphagia assessment and management.
I accept instructions from both claimant and defendant solicitors and insurers. I have undergone formal training in the medico-legal process and am fully aware of my responsibilities under Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to expert witnesses.