Nicola Hancock

Nicola Hancock

Dr

  • 1.13 Queens Building

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Personal profile

Biography

Nicola Hancock qualified as a Physiotherapist from the University of East London in 1992, with a first-class BSc (Hons) and clinical distinctions.  She was awarded the Joan Piercy prize for student of the year on graduation. Nicola worked clinically at Addenbrooke’s hospital Cambridge and at the QEH, Kings Lynn as a highly specialist clinical therapist and team leader in neurology, before moving to UEA and completing her PhD

Nicola has worked both nationally and regionally to develop stroke rehabilitation services, representing physiotherapy on the Royal College of Physicians Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party (2005-2019) and co-authored three sets of National Clinical Guidelines for Stroke (2008, 2012, 2016) She was National Hon Chair of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology (ACPIN) 2004-2008. In 2016, Nicola was awarded a Fellowship of ACPIN in recognition of her career-long commitment to advancing neurorehabilitation practice.

Key Research Interests and Expertise

Principle research interests include: investigating activity that might promote recovery of coordinated, functional lower limb movement early after stroke onset and characterising movement patterns to enable rehabilitation strategies to be targeted appropriately; personalised approaches to rehabilitation in stroke and brain injury, including evaluation of supported self-management and co-development of innovative technologies; and evaluation and implementation of quality improvement projects in the NHS.

Nicola's PhD was titled: Investigations into the potential for using Reciprocal Pedalling Exercise to assess, measure and enhance lower limb function after stroke. Supervisory team: Professor Valerie Pomeroy and Professor Lee Shepstone (UEA) with Professor Phil Rowe (University of Strathclyde)

Post-doctorally, Nicola has won a place on the Design Council Design Mentoring Programme, supported by a successful application for £15,000 Proof of Concept monies from UEA. She is working with a team at UEA, the Design Council Associate and a Design Agency of the development of a device to retrain walking early after stroke. This work has been awarded Norwich Research Park Translational funding (£40,450: November 2015) with further impact funding from UEA in 2017, followed by an Innovation Development grant (£84,000) in 2019.

Nicola led the  HEEoE-funded quality improvement evaluation (£150,000; 2019-20) to support the implementation of the "Bridges" sustainable model of integrating self-management support across stroke and neurological rehabilitation services in the East of England. She is a member of the international 'ViaTherapy' working party, the team produced an app to enable therapists to rapidly access best evidence for upper limb rehabilitation after stroke. 

 

Teaching Interests

Nicola teaches neurological rehabilitation, leadership & entrepreneurship and research across both the BSc and Pre-Reg MSc Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy programs at UEA.

Expert Consultancy and Peer Review:

Nicola review and advises on key national documents including the National Stroke Strategy (2007, update 2017) and was a member of the priority setting partnership for stroke research, hosted by the Stroke Association. Her role on the RCP Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party involved participating in the development of National Stroke Audits as part of SSNAP, the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme; and contributing to the writing of the internationally renowned National Clinical Guidelines for Stroke.

Peer review has been carried out for the Stroke Association research grant awards committee, and of research papers submitted to Physiotherapy Research International, Health & Quality of Life Outcomes, BMC Health Services Research, Physiotherapy, Frontiers in Neurology, Disability and Rehabilitation. Nicola was a member of the critical review group for the Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland consensus statement on use of electrical stimulation following stroke (2014).

 

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of East Anglia

Award Date: 1 Jan 2014

External positions

Research Strategy Group member, INPA: International Neurological Physical Therapy Association

Oct 2020 → …

Member of the Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party, Royal College of Physicians

20052019

Chair, Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology

Mar 2004Mar 2008

Network

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