Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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RGN, Dip PS (District Nursing), Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing, BSc Tissue Viability
I qualified as a General Nurse in 1979 and spent several years obtaining experience in Medicine, Psychiatry, General Surgery nursing and also worked in Canada gaining experience in Rheumatology and Rehabilitation. Following my District Nurse training in 1983 I worked as a District Nurse in West Herts Community Trust, working with GP's and the multidisciplinary care team and was responsible for the nursing management of patients in their homes. During this period I developed clinical experience nursing patients with long term conditions, acute and chronic wounds including pressure ulcers and leg ulcers and managing patients at the end of life. I developed a Community Leg Ulcer Clinic in 1991 working in close liaison with the Vascular and Dermatology Consultants at the local General Hospital, becoming the lead practitioner for providing practical education in leg ulcer care to the District nurse team and managed the clinic. I obtained my Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing level 3 in 2000 and this provided me the opportunity to prescribe treatments as required for my patients.
I worked as a Leg Ulcer Specialist Nurse in 2001. The role included provision of education to Health Care Professionals (HCP’s) in leg ulcer care and managing/working in a nurse led multi-disciplinary Leg Ulcer Clinic. This provided me with opportunities to observe clinical practice, change behaviour and develop the nursing teams' skills in holistic management of patients. I became a Practice Assessor for the assessment and management of Leg Ulcers Course at Hatfield University. A full time position as a Tissue Viability Nurse Specialist took me to Hillingdon in 2004 where I worked until July 2015. I presented a business case and secured funding for a Community Nurse Led Complex Wound Clinic (CWC) with multi-disciplinary members on site. This was an early example of a joined up community/secondary care pathway developed around patients’ needs. My role allowed me to have a unique privileged position of working across a range of settings from the patient’s bedside to the Board of Directors.
I worked between 2012-2017 at Bucks New University as a part time Associate Lecturer Module Lead in tissue viability for nurses undertaking their District Nursing degree/master's programme.
I left Hillingdon (part of CNWL) full time in July 2015 to become a freelance Tissue Viability Nurse Specialist. I provide clinical practice to private patients and work alongside the community tissue viability twam and district nursing team to provide clinical support and leadership in a large community NHS Trust. I also provide educational presentations for healthcare professionals nationally and internationally and am regularly involved in publication.
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.
2009 Tissue Viability Degree, Hertfordshire University
2000 Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing (Level 3)
1996 Assessment and Management of Leg Ulcers (Level 2)
1984 Teaching and Assessing ENB 998 (Level 2)
1983 District Nurse Certificate, Newlands College
1979 Registered General Nurse training, Royal Free Hospital