Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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BSc Occupational Therapy
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2002 and have gained a broad range of clinical experience over a diverse range of specialities, but consider myself to hold specialist knowledge and skills in the treatment of clients with musculoskeletal and orthopaedic conditions. My current role is within a specialist National Orthopaedic hospital and I provide therapeutic intervention to clients who have undergone highly specialised and pioneering surgery including limb deformity corrections, limb amputation, joint reconstruction, foot and ankle surgery and spinal deformity surgery. I have developed my assessment and treatment skills within this specialist area and am
practised at delivering interventions to optimise functional independence following major surgery. I work regularly with clients with cerebral palsy who have developed secondary orthopaedic or musculoskeletal problems and provide therapy intervention from pre admission through to discharge, addressing all needs relating to seating, equipment, transport and care and rehabilitation. I also see clients who experience chronic pain and am experienced in delivering therapeutic pain management strategies. I am experienced and skilled in working with
clients who have a number of pre- existing conditions which impact on their post operative rehabilitation and am able to think holistically and creatively when delivering intervention in order to maximise their independence.
The main responsibilities of my current role are:
• Completing detailed, & where required cognitive, assessments for clients with complex needs such as spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, limb amputation, Parkinson's disease, acquired brain injury and multiple sclerosis who are undergoing orthopaedic surgery.
• Completing functional assessments both pre and post operatively and providing necessary intervention to compensate for the functional limitations of surgery.
• Completing detailed posture and seating assessments.
• Providing pre operative education to clients being admitted for surgery in relation to post operative precautions, ADL management and return to work/leisure/sporting activities.
• Devising rehabilitation programs for clients with complex musculoskeletal and orthopaedic conditions and delivering therapy intervention in a structured and goal orientated way.
In conjunction with my current role, I have also worked as an independent Occupational Therapist over the past 5 years. As part of my role as an independent practitioner I have completed detailed assessments of clients with complex needs and providing recommendations in relation to a given brief (housing, environmental, functional or carer issues), and I have delivered goal orientated treatment programs to clients with acquired brain injury, chronic pain and musculoskeletal conditions. As well as my clinical work, I have also presented at a national hip arthroplasty study day and am due to present at a national external fixators study day in December 2015. I have
attended regular training courses and conferences in order to maintain continuous professional development.
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 the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to Expert Witnesses.