Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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RGN, State Certified Midwife, National Diploma - District Nursing, Independent & Supplementary Prescribing
I qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1979 from Glasgow Royal Infirmary gaining experience as a staff nurse in the surgical admissions ward. I then trained as a midwife, qualifying in June 1980. After practising as a midwife - gaining experience predominantly in the delivery suite and post natal units, I moved into community health. My role combined both general nursing and community midwifery practice. During my time in this role I successfully gained the National Diploma in District Nursing. My role as a district nurse/midwife enabled me to gain extensive experience in managing patients in their own home and in the GP practice environment. I developed my nursing skills in the care of patients with long term conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, MND, post CVA, diabetes and respiratory conditions such as COPD. Since this time, my skills in community nursing have continued to develop and I have extensive understanding of wound management, diabetes management, administering medicines, palliative care, and care of the elderly patient. My midwifery experience included managing women throughout their antenatal, delivery and postnatal experiences. I subsequently gained clinical skills and qualifications in managing the premature infant and completed a neonatal intensive care course.
Since 2003 I have held a variety of posts both clinical and managerial in community health and the care home sector. From 2010 until 2013 I spent time as a General Manager in the care sector and developed my understanding of the statutory regulations that ensure safe care for frail elderly residents. This role gave me skills in safeguarding, regulatory requirements (CQC) and allowed me to continue with teaching basic nursing care to the staff in the nursing homes. From 2003 I have continued to practise clinical skills in wound management, palliative care, administering medicines, assessing complex health needs, negotiating for funding for packages of care for patients to remain at home (Continuing Health Care) diabetes care, and care of long term conditions such as COPD, MS, MND.
Recently I became the Named Nurse for Adult Safeguarding across all sites of a large teaching hospital. This work involved reviewing cases where patients are identified as being at risk and co-ordinating a multi-agency approach to protecting vulnerable adults.
I have now returned to community nursing as the Quality Matron for community services. This role involves acting as the professional lead for district nursing, with responsibility for patient safety, clinical standards and pressure area care.
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 Civil procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to expert witnesses.