Nicola is an experienced solicitor advocate and partner in our inquest and advisory team. She has over 20 years’ experience advising NHS organisations, Trust Boards, senior NHS managers and clinicians on advisory and inquest matters in the health and care sector. She is highly regarded for her legal expertise, which is grounded in a deep-rooted understanding of the health sector drawn from lived experience of working within the NHS.
Nicola has previously worked at senior leadership level within the NHS for over a decade as Associate Director of Legal Services at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust. In that role, Nicola was the key advisor to the Trust Board, led the large in-house team and was responsible for delivery of legal services across all five Trust sites. This experience means Nicola has a genuine insight into what NHS clients need from their lawyers and clients value her pragmatic, client-focused approach.
Nicola has a national reputation and acts for a wide range of NHS organisations and NHS Resolution, advising on coronial and health law. She has particular expertise in representing NHS organisations and clinicians at coroners’ inquests and regularly represents NHS trusts at complex coroners’ inquest hearings, conducting advocacy in different jurisdictions across the country. She is trusted by clients to provide user-friendly, straightforward advice and skilled representation in court, supporting witnesses and organisations throughout the inquest process, considering reputational impact and prevention of future death strategy.
In addition, Nicola regularly provides training to NHS clients covering a wide range of medico-legal subjects and is one of the key speakers on our popular Mock Inquest training course, a virtual training course for NHS Professionals who need to understand the inquest process.
Finally, Nicola is one of the leads on our Shared Insights forum for NHS professionals. Launched at the beginning of the pandemic as a way to connect our health and social care sector and provide support at a time of unprecedented challenge for the health service, the programme has evolved into a unique forum which brings those organisations together to discuss shared challenges and share best practice.
Representing two acute Trusts and the ambulance service at a complex six-day inquest into the sudden, tragic death of a young woman (P) in the end stages of pregnancy. P suffered an unexpected cardiac arrest at home and the baby was delivered by resuscitative hysterotomy at the scene.
Representing the acute Trust at a five-day inquest into the death of a baby born at a midwife-led birthing centre. Supporting the midwives through the inquest process and advising on prevention of future death strategy with particular regard to the Ockenden recommendations.
Representing an acute Trust at the inquest into the death of a theatre practitioner from an overdose of drugs obtained at work.
Representing the acute Trust at the inquest into the death of a child following complex heart surgery. Supporting the clinicians and advising on Duty of Candour and prevention of future death strategy.
"I would like to feedback to you how professional, helpful and supportive Nicola Evans has been to me with regard to the maternal death inquest she is currently involved in and that I was a witness for. Fortunately, my care (and indeed the obstetric care) has not been criticised but I am in no doubt that had I felt more vulnerable and upset she would have been exceptional. The perfect balance of technical/professional competence with sensitivity."
"I was a witness last week at quite a complex inquest. Our legal support was Nicola Evans. She was really excellent at coordinating and leading what was a large amount of internal investigating and prep work with the various witnesses. She was also very supportive of the staff and the work we had done with her leading up to the inquest meant it went as well as we could have expected, given there had clearly been significant issues in the care."
In this session, our speakers discussed fundamentals of disclosure, general points on disclosure & Post-Pandemic, interested Persons & Patient Safety Incident Response, and how we can help & Takeaway Tips.
Our speakers looked at Child Safeguarding in childcare proceedings.
Our speakers looked at the legal framework for maternal mental health issues, the obstetrician’s perspective & the psychiatrist’s perspective.
What to expect at Court: Family Court and Care Proceedings. Care Proceedings concern the welfare of a child. If a Local Authority believes that a child is at risk of significant harm, they can seek permission from the Court to take appropriate action to protect the child.
We were delighted to be joined by Dr Nigel Sturrock, Regional Medical Director for the Midlands at NHS England and NHS Improvement. He gave an overview of the pressures placed on the NHS by the pandemic, including the impact on urgent and emergency care, elective procedures and staffing.
The panel of experienced Coroners gave an outline of the current backlog and the pandemic recovery plan implemented in their jurisdiction.
In this Shared Insights session, we discussed how prior to the pandemic, looking at the themes and learning arising from Operating Theatre claims between 2010 and 2020 and about the challenges faced by NHS Trusts as they seek to restore surgical and other services post-pandemic.
In this Shared Insights session we discussed how different Coroners are approaching recovery from the pandemic.
This shared insight provided an insight into the legal issues arising from Covid-19 related illness, including long Covid and PTSD.
The aim of this film is to help clinical witnesses to prepare for giving evidence remotely and to illustrate how best a witness can help the Coroner and the family during a remote inquest hearing.
Lockdown restrictions in March 2020 led to many inquest hearings being postponed. As restrictions eased, Coroners came under increasing pressure to reduce the number of delayed inquest hearings. In June 2020, the Chief Coroner issued Guidance No. 38 to facilitate remote participation in coroner’s inquests.
Guidance for NHS Trusts on how to prepare for remote inquests.
In September 2020, for the first time the CQC successfully prosecuted an NHS Trust for breaching the Duty of Candour. It is important for all NHS organisations to take heed of this prosecution and review the approach that is being taken in your organisation to candour.
When commissioning external reviews, robust end-to-end Terms of Reference (ToR) should be agreed at the outset. Find out more here.
When commissioning an external review, it is essential to agree robust Terms of Reference which set out the end to end process.
New Statutory duties to report deaths came into force on 1st October 2019. Are you complying with these new legal duties?