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
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2002 and gained experience in elderly care, medicine and surgery, orthopaedics (including rheumatology), oncology and haematology and stroke, before progressing to my current role, where I work as a Senior OT for the Adult Physical Domiciliary Service in Belfast.
This post involves the assessment of a client within the community setting. The clients present with a wide range of diagnoses and long term conditions, with many physical symptoms (including fractures/arthritis/ falls injuries / amputees / spinal), and their needs are often considered extensive, affecting all areas of daily living. Often investigation of symptoms is required, and I regularly liaise with medical professionals, and multi-disciplinary team members to ascertain these. I am required to make appropriate recommendations, and offer specialist advice for the clients immediate and longer term needs. Recommendations may include treatment (including rehabilitation); however, the majority require equipment, adaptations, or additional care. The adaptations or pieces of equipment are often considered ‘major works’, for which I have responsibilities in the planning (liaising with architects / statutory agencies), implementation, and final approval of these. This post requires good communication skills and accurate note keeping; daily extensive report writing and good presentation skills are also required. I participate fully with service improvement initiatives, service audits, and adhere fully to the departmental policies, as well as our standards of practice / code of ethics.
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.