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 2001. I have experience, in the acute hospital setting, of assessing and treating individuals with lower limb amputation, vascular surgery, abdominal surgery, orthopaedics and elderly care.
I worked in many clinical areas at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, including care of the elderly, stroke, surgery, rheumatology, medicine and paediatrics between 2001 and 2006. From 2006 until 2012, I worked with individuals following lower limb amputation, vascular surgery, transplants, colorectal surgery, urinary surgery, individuals with all types of cancer, including those that required end of life care. I also had experience in orthopaedics, particularly assessing and treating individuals with elective total hip replacements, knee replacements and fractured neck of femurs following falls.
In 2013, I started working in the surgical team for Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust at Broomfield Hospital. I assessed and treated individuals following vascular surgery, lower limb amputation, colorectal surgery, urinary surgery and occasionally individuals with respiratory conditions. I worked approximately one day a month assessing and treating individuals after orthopaedic surgery or those with a varied range of medical problems and difficulties in accident and emergency or in the emergency assessment unit (usually over 65). These individuals often had comorbidities, that impacted on function as well as the acute condition. I identified the need for further therapy input, re-ablement/care and equipment for individuals leaving hospital, to maximise their independence. I also identified the need for a community Occupational Therapist to assess long term requirements, if required.
I left Broomfield Hospital in April 2016 but I remained on a bank contract with them until November 2016 working in the accident and emergency department and medical assessment unit. Between June 2016 and January 2018, I undertook occasional work for the OT practice, as a private Occupational Therapist, for clients with a range of physical difficulties.
In July 2017 I returned to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, on a bank contract to undertake occasional work, and continue to have an open bank contract with them. In April 2019, I began working for the Cambridge Intermediate Care Team. The clients that I work with, in various community settings, have a wide range of difficulties arising from illness and injury. My role involves identifying client’s needs, agreeing goals and providing appropriate therapy interventions, rehabilitation programmes, adaptive equipment and making recommendations for minor adaptations.
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.
British Association of Occupational Therapists
2001 BSc (hons) Occupational Therapy, Coventry University