The following article is a personal reflection on becoming an OT expert witness, by...
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RGN, State Certified Midwife, National Diploma - District Nursing, Independent & Supplementary Prescribing, Full Member of Expert Witness Institute (MEWI)
I qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1979 from Glasgow Royal Infirmary gaining experience as a staff nurse in the surgical admissions ward. I then trained as a midwife, qualifying in June 1980. After practising as a midwife - gaining experience predominantly in the delivery suite and post-natal units, I moved into community health. My role combined both general nursing and community midwifery practice. During my time in this role I successfully gained the National Diploma in District Nursing. My role as a district nurse/midwife enabled me to gain extensive experience in managing patients in their own home and in the GP practice environment. I developed my nursing skills in the care of patients with long term conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, MND, post CVA, diabetes and respiratory conditions such as COPD. Since this time, my skills in community nursing have continued to develop and I have extensive understanding of wound management, diabetes management, administering medicines, palliative care, assessment and management of complex care, and care of the elderly patient.
Since 1999, I have held a variety of posts both clinical and managerial in community health and the care home sector. From 2010 until 2013, I spent time as a General Manager in the care sector and developed my understanding of the statutory regulations that ensure safe care for frail elderly residents. This role gave me skills in safeguarding, regulatory requirements (CQC) and allowed me to continue with teaching basic nursing care to the staff in the nursing homes. In 2016, I returned to my earlier clinical environment and spent 8 months as a District Nursing Sister. Since April 2017, I have worked as the Named Nurse for Adult Safeguarding in an NHS hospital trust supporting both hospital and community staff in the safeguarding agenda and working collaboratively with partner agencies. More recently I have worked as Quality Matron for district nursing and as a Registered Nurse in a nursing care home.
In April 2021, I accepted the part time role of Lecturer in Adult Nursing where I provide teaching to pre-registration adult nursing students – both formal teaching and practical clinical skills, mentoring and providing pastoral care for students, and acting as link lecturer in clinical placements ensuring the students gain appropriate clinical skills in practice.
I also work part-time as an expert witness in medico-legal cases, having undergone specialist training in medico-legal processes. I am fully aware of my responsibilities under Civil Procedure Rules pertaining to expert witnesses. I accept instructions from both Claimant and Defendant solicitors and insurers.