Somek & Associates' Jessica Thurston, Head of Medico-legal Operations and...
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MSc Occupational Therapy, BSc Occupational Therapy
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2003 from Brunel University and have since gained a broad range of experience, both clinically and managerially. I have spent the majority of my career specialising in mental health and have vast experience of the assessment and treatment of a wide variety of mental health conditions including psychosis, depression, post traumatic stress disorder and personality disorder. I have experience in working with children, working age adults and older adults.
I have extensive experience of working in a variety of different settings including inpatient, community, secure, and schools. I worked as the Professional Lead Occupational Therapist for Perinatal Mental Health Services in a London NHS trust; supporting women in both the pre-natal and post-natal phases. This role also included providing clinical leadership to the other occupational therapists working in perinatal services. Prior to this role, I was employed as the Professional Lead for Adult Acute and Crisis Mental Health Occupational Therapy Services in Hertfordshire. My role involved providing professional leadership to all of the occupational therapists in the acute and crisis mental health teams and consulting on clinical cases with a high degree of complexity.
Earlier on in my career, I was employed as a Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist within an adult Community Mental Health Service. I provided leadership to the Occupational Therapy team and was part of the departmental management team. Within this role, my clinical specialism related to vocational rehabilitation and involved supporting individuals to work towards their vocational goals or job retention strategies. I was also previously employed as a Head Occupational Therapist within an acute psychiatric hospital. During this time I was also seconded into a psychiatric liaison service, providing a mental health Occupational Therapy service into both the acute physical wards and Accident and Emergency.
In addition to my NHS experience, I have also worked as a case manager, and I maintain a small private caseload of individuals presenting with a variety of different needs. I currently provide sessional input into a private neurorehabilitation unit in Surrey, and oversee the clinical supervision of junior staff. In 2012 I completed an MSc in Occupational Therapy at Brunel University, specialising in mental health practice. I have since maintained my link with the university and have been invited as a guest lecturer to present on the MSc Occupational Therapy Mental Health module on several occasions, and currently act as an external marker for both the MSc and BSc Occupational Therapy courses.
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.
2012 MSc Occupational Therapy, Brunel University
2003 BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, Brunel University