All nurses are experts in one way or another. Our expertise for instance allows us to prioritise a busy schedule looking after patients, juggling medication and ward rounds, supporting relatives and colleagues.
As clinical techniques, professional regulation and medical knowledge continue to evolve and change, that expertise is constantly sustained and expanded by training and professional development.
In the medico-legal setting, however, a nurse expert refers to a particular type of individual. Here a nurse expert is a nurse who is called upon during litigation to apply their extensive expertise and experience to the provision of a professional opinion on a claimant’s care and/or treatment. While every nurse should excel at communicating with patients and other clinical colleagues, it requires a different set of skills to communicate that expertise within a medico-legal setting.
It is surprising, perhaps, that there are very few nurse experts in the UK. Many of us have written detailed reports while working in our respective roles, yet very few of us have taken our knowledge and used it in the field of medico-legal services.
The scarcity of appropriately qualified nurse experts has led Apex Health Associates to develop its dedicated nurse expert witness service. At the core of this service is a determination to ensure that nurses are properly experienced and trained to deliver the services that our clients need.
We only engage senior practising nurses. This ensures that nurse experts are clinically credible in their field of expertise, and able to use their evidence based practice in the preparation of reports.
While nurses regularly apply their knowledge, common sense and experience to preparing reports in their day-to-day roles, we recognise that most nurses do not have specific training in medico-legal report writing.
Our clients favour reports that contain the expert information with some awareness of the legal context, and we therefore provide detailed training to allow nurses to prepare well-presented, well-formatted and informative reports.
We welcome senior nurses from all backgrounds, and run training courses three times per year. The training programme encompasses all the necessary ingredients needed to develop nurses’ medico-legal skills.
If you are a nurse and interested in working with us then please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org.