Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, DipCOT
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1990. During my career I have worked mainly in the NHS in a variety of acute hospital, rehabilitation and community settings.
I have expertise in working with clients who have a wide range of acute and longer term conditions including a variety of medical and surgical conditions, stroke and other neurological conditions, respiratory, orthopaedic and cardiac conditions. My experience includes working with clients with progressive and life-limiting conditions and with those in the palliative or terminal stages of an illness. I have particular expertise in working with older people with complex presentations due to multiple conditions that often include dementia or other cognitive impairment and may also include complex social situations that impact on an individual's level of function, safety and independence in everyday activities. I am experienced in carrying out assessments to identify rehabilitation, care and equipment needs whether in planning for hospital discharge, or in community based assessment.
Since 2015 I have also worked in the private sector providing assessments and rehabilitation for clients with a variety of needs. I am involved in work for local authorities, charities and individual clients, carrying out assessments for equipment and minor adaptations to clients' homes. I also recommend and carry out treatment or rehabilitation programmes for individuals. I attended the Disability Living Foundation Moving and Handling People Conference in September 2015.
In my current NHS role, I work 3 days a week in the Occupational Therapy Hand Clinic service. The clinics focus mainly on assessment and treatment of hand function; conditions commonly referred include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, trigger finger/thumb, minor trauma related issues, post-operative rehabilitation and a variety of non-specific difficulties with hand function. Interventions include static splinting as well as a broader lifestyle management approach such as providing ergonomic advice and teaching joint protection techniques and an evidence based exercise programme for rheumatoid arthritis of the hand. I completed the British Association of Hand Therapists Level 1 course in May 2017.
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 Procedures Rules (CPR) pertaining to Expert Witnesses.