Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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PhD, BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, PGC Clinical Research
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2002 and specialised in the field of adult physical disability. My clinical experience includes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other long term conditions, pain, fatigue, trauma and orthopaedics, addiction and dependency, gastroenterology and liver disease, care of the elderly and falls, cognitive dysfunction and general surgery (including stoma care).
I am skilled at assessing the client in relation to their physical, cognitive and psychosocial functioning, as well as their environment and housing needs. I am competent in implementing a variety of treatment techniques including fatigue management, anxiety management and education strategies to minimise the effects of cognitive dysfunction. I have worked with both children and adults and their carers covering a breadth of functional disability and long term conditions.
In 2012 I became the first Occupational Therapist to graduate from Newcastle School of medicine with a PhD ‘Exploring the function of people with liver disease’ and became a British College of Occupational Therapy Merit Award winner for contribution to Occupational Therapy in 2013. I am published in international therapy and medical journals for my research in long term conditions, fatigue, pain and functional ability.
I undertake work for the National Institute of Health Research as a National Project Lead, strategising and implementing clinical research initiatives throughout local Clinical Research Network, NHS Trusts and partner organisations.
I am also an independent practitioner working with both children and adults. I frequently carry out vocational assessments of clients who have suffered an injury or live with a long term condition and provide therapeutic interventions to clients in the community with complex physical and cognitive disabilities.
I work with various charities providing functional assessment for their beneficiaries, advising equipment, adaptation, seating and electric powered vehicles.
I accept instruction 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.
2008-2012: Newcastle School of Medicine: PhD
2011: Newcastle School of medicine: Post graduate certificate in Clinical Research 2002: University of Northumbria: BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy