Meet our head of Clinical Negligence, Catherine Cooper
Our theme of ‘personalities behind the JJ&A brand’ continues with Catherine Cooper, our Head of Clinical Negligence.
Not used to being in the limelight, my preferred means of communication is face-to-face and not on social media, but needs must so here goes.
I qualified from Guys Hospital (Nightingale Institute) in 1994 and initially worked on a surgical ward before transferring to A&E six months later to pursue the career I had decided would be exciting and challenging. I undertook my A&E qualification at Kings College University the following year. I was enormously proud of qualifying from such a prestigious London hospital and one that carried the name of the great lady herself.
In 1997, having worked as part of the team for two years or so, I decided a change was needed and having lived in London for six years wanted to move on. Unbeknown to family or friends at the time, I applied to join the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC). Needless to say, they snapped me up as the skill set was right and in early 1998, I embarked on my Army career. It was a bit of a shock to the system and passing out of Sandhurst was not easy but a highlight of my career to date. There followed several tours in some austere conditions including Bosnia and Kosovo. Whilst it could be hard, the Army ethos is work hard, play hard, lots of fun was had too!!
During this time, I met and married my ex-husband and was lucky to have two lovely children, Emily, and Harry. I left the Army in 2004 before Emily arrived and I continued my A&E career as a Senior Sister in Bath. In 2012, I started to think that I really wanted to pursue the Advanced Clinical Practice route and was ‘invited’ to General Practice in 2012 and completed my Non-Medical Prescribing course shortly after.
This move to the ‘dark side’ has seen me almost complete my MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice, final submission is November 2022 – wish me luck. I have specialised in Infection Control, so the last two and a half years have been a little ‘busy’ to say the least. I also lecture at the University of the West of England and nine years ago started the foray into expert witness work, which I love, and I have been with JJ&A ever since.
Outside of work, I love being in the countryside, walking my dogs, spending time with my, now, teenage children and trying to help them on their way to university etc. I have rescued three dogs now over the years and love giving them a chance of a happy home. I still try to keep fit and I think this is from my Army days, running and spinning are my thing. I am still on very good terms with my ex-husband, and I have a wonderful new partner to boot. It can’t all be bad! It is fair to say that I am busier than ever, but every day is varied and I never regret my decision to be a nurse. It has made me proud and frustrated at times in equal measure, but it has never been dull!!
Catherine has some 31 years’ experience as a Nurse in Emergency, Urgent and Primary Care settings. She has a wide and varied experience. Alongside her own Expert work since 2013, Catherine now oversees the Liability Team of experts at JJ&A as Head of Clinical Negligence, this has been a new challenge over the last year and one that Catherine is making her own.