Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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I qualified as an Occupational therapist in 1994, gaining the majority of my clinical experience in the field of physical disability, particularly relating to upper limb and musculoskeletal injuries.
My main area of expertise is in the assessment and treatment of clients with upper limb and hand related dysfunction. I continue to work on a part time basis in the NHS and have ongoing experience in managing patients with hand injuries, brachial plexus injuries, fractures and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). My role as a hand therapist enables me to assess, analyse and advise on hand related dysfunction.
I have recent experience in managing rheumatology conditions, such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis and chronic pain conditions such as Fibromyalgia, having been seconded to the OT service in rheumatology during 2013 and again in 2016/17.
During my career, I have worked in trauma and orthopaedics as a ward based OT, and have managed patients with CVA and other neurological conditions. This included working with people following elective hip and knee replacements and those with general trauma to the back, hips and knees. I consider myself to be skilled in identifying and targeting barriers to function. I have a sound awareness of assistive equipment and small aids to facilitate independence in personal care and domestic tasks.
I joined Somek & Associates as an Occupational therapy expert in 2006 and now also act in the role of associate trainer, providing support for newer experts and writing and running webinar training sessions.
I am experienced in writing reports for medical-legal purposes and have been instructed equally by Claimant and Defendant solicitors. I have acted as a single joint expert. I have undertaken all aspects of the medico-legal process and have given evidence in court. I have undergone training in the medico-legal process and am fully aware of my responsibilities under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to Expert Witnesses.
2004 MSc Allied Health (Hand Therapy), University of Derby
1994 BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, Nene College, Northampton