Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
I qualified as a physiotherapist in 2005 and started my career in physiotherapy working with adults with learning disabilities. I developed a particular interest in how damage to neural control can have such varied and devastating effects on function. This led me to specialise in the field of neurology.
I currently work as the Head of Physiotherapy for the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This role is largely focused on leadership and I am committed to driving forward the quality of service we provided to both our hospital and community-based patients. The clinical aspect of this role allows me to regularly work alongside my team members with complex cases across all specialities within physiotherapy.
Prior to taking up my current role I spent six years working as the Clinical Specialist Therapist for Neurosciences Rehabilitation at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where my clinical duties mainly involved supporting colleagues with disentangling and understanding the complexity of presentations they are faced with. In the four years prior to this, I clinically led a neurological rehabilitation unit in London and Acute Stroke unit in Bedfordshire.
As a practising clinician I regularly see adults presenting with acute and chronic neurological injury and have an in-depth understanding of their condition. I am confident in assessing and treating all neurological conditions including progressive diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and Motor-Neurone Disease; neurological injuries, such as stroke and traumatic brain and spinal injuries; and less common conditions such as encephalopathies, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and inclusion body myositis. Alongside these conditions I have had a considerable amount of experience with patients with functional overlay and non-organic presentations.
Alongside my clinical and managerial duties, I have co-authored the ‘Advancing Neurosciences Practice’ post graduate certificate. In addition, I recently completed my master’s in healthcare leadership. Away from my clinical and managerial duties I am an associate lecturer in physiotherapy at Oxford Brookes University, teaching leadership theory and clinical neurological physiotherapy practice on an intermittent basis.
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.