Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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BSc Hons- Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Independent Prescriber, Registered Nurse
I qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1978 and became an Independent Prescriber in 2000. In my early career I specialised in A&E care and was promoted to the role of Sister in A&E. I have worked in Primary Care as a Practice Nurse, Specialist Elderly Care Nurse (wards & community) and also as a leg ulcer/wound care specialist.
Between 1998 and 2017 I was employed as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) working within walk-in centres and urgent care centres. As an ANP, I assess and treat babies, children and adults attending with minor ailments, injuries and conditions that require urgent treatment and referral. I was promoted to the position of Clinical Manager for these services in 2014. My responsibilities include direct line management of clinical leads who manage multidisciplinary teams of GPs, advanced nurse practitioners, emergency nurse practitioners, physiotherapists and health care assistants. I was also responsible for the safe delivery of phlebotomy, wound management and injury review services. In 2011, I was seconded to the Trust’s rehabilitation wards in order to lead the nursing teams through a period of change. I continue to be involved with this service in an advisory role. Alongside my strategic operational management duties, 50% of my work is clinical and I undertake expert clinical duties as an autonomous Advanced Nurse Practitioner, providing care to patients and giving expert clinical advice and support to the team. In 2010 I was seconded for one year to work in the role of ‘Matron’. I was responsible for the safe delivery of nursing care to patients in the Intermediate Care wards and Stroke rehabilitation ward. During this time I managed a consultation process for redesign of the service relating to nursing. Until 2017 I continued to be involved with this service in an advisory role. I retired from my post in 2017 and now undertake bank work for Kent urgent care services as an autonomous Advanced Nurse Practitioner.
I hold a masters level qualification in ‘Teaching and Assessing in Academic Practice’ and lecture on the post graduate Advanced Nursing Courses at City University London. Through supervised practice and mentorship I support nurses in their development, particularly in the autonomous advanced level that is required for unscheduled care and A&E. I am responsible for the safety of staff and patients through robust risk management assessment and I have written and implemented Trust wide and WiC/UCC policies and procedures. I have undertaken specific ‘Serious Incident investigation’ training and have investigated serious untoward incidents for the Trust. I have prepared factual Police statements to assist Police prosecutions and have experience of giving evidence at Crown Court and Coroners Court.
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.
2000 Registered Independent prescribing, Middlesex University
1978 Registered Nursing, Northwick Park Harrow School of Nursing