Somek & Associates' Jessica Thurston, Head of Medico-legal Operations and...
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MSc Occupational Therapy, BSc (Hons) Psychology
I gained my Masters in Occupational Therapy from Leeds Metropolitan University. Since qualifying I have worked in a range of healthcare settings. I specialise in the areas of major trauma, and amputee and prosthetic rehabilitation. I have worked with individuals who have undergone an amputation/s due to vascular, trauma, oncology and congenital aetiologies within a variety of clinical areas including acute surgical, in-patient rehabilitation and prosthetic rehabilitation.
I am currently employed on a secondment basis as a prosthetic occupational therapist, within Leeds Rehabilitation Services. I provide assessment and rehabilitation to both adults and children with acquired and congenital limb loss in an outpatient setting. I treat both new and established amputees and have a sound understanding of the impact of aging on an individual’s prosthetic mobility, care and therapy needs. My substantive post is the lead occupational therapist for the Major Trauma Service. I work with individuals who have suffered a life changing injury or multiple injuries, for example following high speed vehicle collisions, industrial accidents, high falls, explosions and severe knife and gunshot wounds. I provide occupational therapy assessment and intervention to individuals following admission to the intensive care unit or the Major Trauma Ward. Clients present with often complex and multiple injuries and disabilities, for example amputations, complex and multiple fractures, brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
Prior to this I worked at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, as the occupational therapy lead for the amputee and prosthetic rehabilitation service. I treated adults and children with upper, lower and multiple limb amputations, this included high level amputations such as transpelvic and forequarter levels.
Prior to this position I was employed as the clinical lead for amputee rehabilitation at the Astley Ainslie Hospital in Edinburgh. The majority of my inpatient caseload were individuals who had undergone a lower limb amputation/s due to diabetes and vascular disease. I also carried out upper limb prosthetic rehabilitation for both adults and children in the outpatient prosthetic rehabilitation centre.
In addition to my clinical work I previously taught annually on the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine course in Advanced Prosthetics and Amputee Rehabilitation. I provide ad hoc teaching to other hospitals, students and at College of Occupational Therapy study days. I have displayed posters at national conferences and been involved in audit and research.
I am a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists specialist section sub-group for upper and lower limb prosthetics.
I accept instructions 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 the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to Expert Witnesses.