Nicola Heaps, one of our nursing experts, appeared in court in July this year. The case related to...
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BSc (Hons) Nurse Practitioner, Non Medical Prescribing, RGN
I qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1985 and worked in an acute female geriatric ward for six months. Upon my return from maternity leave, I worked in A&E on surgical, medical, infectious diseases and on orthopaedic wards as a staff nurse. I joined the District Nursing service in 1987. I cared for disabled patients with chronic diseases and palliative patients. After reorganisation of the service, I became the on-call nurse for Chingford. I learned to work independently and managed the night team.
Whilst looking after my family I started working as a Practice Nurse at two GP surgeries. I developed expertise in family planning, sexual health screening and cervical cytology, travel health/ immunisation, child immunisation, ear syringing and chronic disease management. I was involved in monitoring cytology and immunisation targets. As my family was growing up I was presented with an opportunity to work in Newham as a senior practice nurse and to study for the nurse practitioner degree, followed later by the non-medical prescribing course.
During my time as Newham Practice Nurse Forum chair I organised and presented at our annual conferences.The surgery where I currently work has a strong ethos for learning and I have trained and mentored student nurses, trainee practice nurses, health care assistants, medical students and GP registrars. I am an honorary lecturer at City University.
In 2005 the practice was recognised by RCGP Provost’s Award for ‘Best Practice Innovation’ for developing an immunisation clinic service, which I designed and set up.
In 2014 the practice was short listed by ‘Pulse Magazine’ for GP awards in 3 categories for developing diabetes services. I designed, promoted and introduced these services into the practice by writing protocols and training staff.
Until November 2016, I was lead nurse and Advanced Nurse Practitioner in a GP practice with 13,000 patients. I led a team of 4 practice nurses, 3 health care assistants and a nurse practitioner. My role included seeing patients who were acutely unwell, diagnosing, investigating, treating and referring as necessary, chronic disease management, telephone triage, fitting and removing implants and providing clinical leadership and cover for the other nurses. Since November 2016, I have continued to provide these services both remotely and by running clinics at the practice, following my relocation to Wales.
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.
2009: City University: Non Medical Prescribing
2002-2005: City University; BSC Nurse Practitioner
1982-1985: North Middlesex School of Nursing RGN