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 a Physiotherapist in 1996 from the University of Brighton. After gaining experience in the core areas of Physiotherapy as a Junior Physiotherapist, I worked in various locum posts while waiting for a post in amputee rehabilitation to become available. In 2001 I gained my first post in a prosthetic Centre.
I am currently working at Bristol Centre for Enablement as a Specialist Physiotherapist in Amputee Rehabilitation. I have a large clinical caseload of predominantly adult lower limb amputees, but I also treat some children. These patients have a range of causes for their amputations – congenital, vascular, diabetes, trauma, infection. I mainly treat patients with single limb loss, but I have experience of patients with multiple limb loss. I am also responsible for the supervision of the two Assistant Practitioners who work in Physiotherapy.
Our Centre receives many War Veterans who use high-end prosthetic componentry, which has enhanced my knowledge and skills in this area. If these patients wish to upgrade their prosthetic componentry, I am involved in the assessment of outcome measures to demonstrate a clinical need for the change, and I then contribute to the application process.
NHS England have recently approved a policy for provision of microprocessor knees (MPKs). This means that I take part in regular assessment clinics to review patient’s eligibility for an MPK. I then train patients to use an MPK and assess outcome measures to demonstrate the clinical need for the MPK. If provided with an MPK, patients then attend further Physiotherapy sessions with me.
I gained a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Studies in 2010 with distinction, completing modules in Introductory Biomechanics, Lower Limb Prosthetic Biomechanics, Clinical Gait Analysis, Research Methodology and Data Analysis.
I am an active member of the British Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Amputee Rehabilitation (Bacpar), and I have previously been the editor of the Bacpar Journal and held the post of Treasurer. I led on the development of the Bacpar Toolbox of Outcome Measures, published in 2011.
I accept instruction 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.