Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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MSc Occupational Therapy, BSc Occupational Therapy
I qualified with a Masters in Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in the USA in 1998. I specialise in paediatric work as a lead occupational therapist within a community child development team, where I manage a caseload of complex children aged between 0-18 years old with a variety of diagnoses including prematurity, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury, developmental delay, life limiting conditions, and autism. As a member of the multi-disciplinary team I conduct joint assessments for children with complex physical and communication difficulties which advises on diagnosis, functional abilities, goals and plans for future intervention. Treatment methods included neurodevelopment techniques (Bobath), sensory processing, developmental play, ADL training using top-down approach, and 24 hour postural management.
My skills include observation based on experience and standardised testing to asses and develop family centred goal orientated treatment plans. I provide individual and group treatment, advice and programs to home and educational settings. Intervention is based on established techniques such as neurodevelopment treatment, sensory processing, developmental play, constraint induced therapy and 24 hour postural management. I provide advice, programmes and training to teachers or special needs assistants on how to handle or assist the child to ensure they meet their best level of function and allow them to access the National Curriculum as independently as possible.
I am involved in designing packages of care that meet each of my clients’ individual needs. This might include working with my client and other members of the multi-disciplinary team to improve head control, hand function or the ability to independently access their environment with the use of powered mobility. I help my clients access leisure activities which may include swimming or horse riding. I have years of experience in provision of equipment to my clients. I am able to facilitate assessments and provide advice on a wide range of equipment such as seating, bathing, sleep systems, beds, environmental controls, communication devices and powered wheelchairs. Many of my clients require property adaptations and equipment to facilitate their independence and to assist their carers with activities of daily living. I work closely with the relevant agencies, professionals and equipment providers on the strategic planning for the immediate and long-term needs of my clients.
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.
1998 MOT Masters of Occupational Therapy, Nova Southeastern University, USA
1995 BSc of Social Work, Florida International University, USA