Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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Higher Dip Nursing (RGN)
I qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1990, and initially worked on surgical wards, including ENT and Paediatrics, in the post of Staff Nurse. Previous to my nurse training, I had qualified as a NHS Dental Surgery Assistant and spent 5 years assisting in Oral and Periodontal Medicine at The Royal London Dental Institute.
In 1993 I took on a post of Practice Nurse within Primary Care and a career within the variable Practice Nurse field. Progressing to Senior Sister, Advance Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Governance Lead, Chronic Disease Manager and Vice Chairman of South East Essex Practice Nurse Group.
Whilst working in primary healthcare, I became general practice lead, for implementation of new directives and systems for COPD, Diabetes, Asthma, and Atrial Fibrillation/Stroke, Care of the Dying, Safeguarding, Significant Events and Infection Control within General Practice. Senior Sister and mentor to both nursing team and GP Registrar training programme.
In 1993 I joined the South East Essex Practice Nurse Group. This organisation has become one of the biggest and successful in the Country, providing education, networking and support to primary care clinical staff. I have served as a committee member since 2007 and Vice Chairman since 2012. The group is run on a voluntary basis. We continue to provide education meetings/training, networking and social events, and support charities. In addition, I produce and edit the newsletter and help with the website. We were able to ensure Practice Nurses are offered appropriate updates and training to continue to provide a first class service, and liaise closely with local CCG’s and NHS England to advise on educational needs.
In 1999, alongside Practice Nursing, I started teaching Nursing elements for Early Years students and gained a degree in Education (Cert Ed) at Greenwich University. I also developed modules for the Associate Practitioner Programme, Foundation degree in Health Science at Essex University. In 2005 I spent a year as a Respiratory Nurse Advisor within the Private Sector. I travelled throughout the UK advising and implementing Asthma and COPD clinics with promotion to H Grade. I have also worked for Ford Motor Company Occupational Health Department and local health authority as health advisor.
I currently work within two busy GP practices and continue to ensure high standards of practice are met through attending regular updates and training in the field of Practice Nursing.
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.