Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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MSc Occupational Therapy, BSc Occupational Therapy
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2003 from Brunel University and have since gained a broad range of experience, both clinically and managerially. I have spent the majority of my career specialising in mental health and have vast experience of the assessment and treatment of a wide variety of mental health conditions including Psychosis, Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Personality Disorder. I have experience in working with children, working age adults and older adults.
I have extensive experience of working in a variety of different settings including inpatient, community, secure, and schools. In my last substantive NHS post, I was employed as a Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist within an adult Community Mental Health Service. I provided leadership to the Occupational Therapy team and was part of the departmental management team. Within this role, my clinical specialism related to Vocational Rehabilitation and involved supporting individuals to work towards their vocational goals or job retention strategies.
Prior to the above, I was employed as a Head Occupational Therapist within an Acute Psychiatric Hospital. During this time I was also seconded into a Psychiatric Liaison service, providing a mental health Occupational Therapy service into both the acute physical wards and Accident and Emergency. Within this role I worked collaboratively with physical health colleagues in supporting their understanding the mental health impact of a wide variety of physical health issues on everyday functioning. A large component of this role involved working with people who had suffered physical trauma resulting in a sudden change in physical capacity and supporting individuals to emotionally adapt to this change in function.
I have recently moved into independent practice and now manage my own private clinical Occupational Therapy practice, specialising in mental health. I also work as a Case Manager, managing a small caseload of clients presenting with multiple complexities.
In 2012 I completed an MSc in Occupational Therapy at Brunel University, specialising in mental health practice. I have since maintained my link with the university and have been invited as a guest lecturer to present on the MSc Occupational Therapy Mental Health module on several occasions.
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.
2012 MSc Occupational Therapy, Brunel University
2003 BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, Brunel University