Somek & Associates' Jessica Thurston, Head of Medico-legal Operations and...
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BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
I qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1996 from the University of East London and after a brief period working in adult practice, I specialised in paediatrics. I have significant paediatric physiotherapy experience working predominantly in acute NHS settings with children with cerebral palsy and other neurological disabilities.
I currently work part time for the NHS in Bristol as a Clinical Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist with my main role being the assessment and delivering of Botulinum Toxin treatment for spasticity management in children with Cerebral Palsy. I also continue to have a varied out-patient caseload including many paediatric conditions such as torticollis and plagiocephaly.
I have extensive experience assessing children with complex neurological disabilities and identifying their needs on a therapeutic basis, medical management, equipment, clinical gait analysis, orthotics and surgical planning as required. I follow the principles of the Bobath concept when treating children with neurological impairments.
In addition to my experience with neurological patients, I am an experienced Ponseti practitioner for the treatment of Talipes Equino Varus (Clubfoot). Working within the busiest Ponseti team in the South West, I have extensive experience of assessing the child with Clubfoot from birth onwards and identifying appropriate treatment options often on a second opinion basis. I am a recognised trainer for the Global Clubfoot Initiative.
For over 10 years, I have also had a small private practice supporting families with children with neurological disabilities offering hands on therapy sessions, advising on equipment for the home environment, teaching carers and Learning Support Assistants individual therapy programs and generally to supplement their local NHS provision. I also support some adults with neurological disabilities as they have moved through from paediatric services.
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.