Somek & Associates' Jessica Thurston, Head of Medico-legal Operations and...
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BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies, PG Dip Clinical Research , PG Cert Practice Development
I qualified as a registered nurse in 2010. My first position was in a regional liver unit where I cared for patients undergoing medical, surgical and high dependency management of a range of liver conditions including liver transplantation. This gave me an excellent grounding in general nursing care and a passion for liver disease, hepatobiliary surgery and gastroenterology. I subsequently worked in Critical Care to further develop my nursing skills to include the care of patients requiring life support. I have also undertaken a year as a research nurse, during which I undertook post graduate study in Clinical Research and worked closely with the pharmaceutical industry on several drug trials in liver disease.
In 2015 I became a Clinical Nurse Specialist. Initially this was in liver disease, predominantly Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis. Within this role I delivered care across a broad range of settings including the acute hospital, primary care, the prison service and substance misuse and homeless services. As part of this role I also managed an Operational Delivery Network for Hepatitis C and developed a wider understanding of health care delivery at an operational level while maintaining my clinical work load.
In 2019 I moved into my current post as an Oncology Nurse Practitioner specialising in cancers of the Upper GI tract and Hepatobiliary system. This role has allowed me to bring together all the skills and knowledge I have gained over the last 10 years, encompassing my passion for delivering a high level of gastroenterology clinical care, palliative care and nurse led service development. I am responsible for autonomously assessing and managing a large case load of patients who are referred with suspected cancers of the oesophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas and bile ducts. I guide patients from referral throughout their diagnostic and treatment pathway providing a point of contact for all their holistic needs.
I have completed physical assessment and history taking qualifications and I am an independent nurse prescriber. I am also fully IRMER and MRI trained and can request any required radiological and endoscopic tests to assist in diagnosis and management of upper GI cancers. A large part of my role involves palliative and end of life care and I regularly deliver education sessions about the specific palliative care needs of upper gastrointestinal patients to hospital and community staff.
I continue to regularly undertake bank shifts on acute wards within the NHS to maintain my clinical and general nursing skills.
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 Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to expert witnesses.