The following article is a personal reflection on becoming an OT expert witness, by...
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BSc Nursing Studies, MSc Healthcare, PG Cert Infection Control, PG Dip Education, Full Member of Expert Witness Institute (MEWI)
I qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1985 and since then I have gained specific clinical experience within a number of areas of adult nursing, in a range of clinical settings, including: elderly and dementia care, frailty services, falls prevention, long-term condition management, end of life care; pressure ulcer prevention, manual handling, mental capacity assessment and decisions and safeguarding adults at risk.
During my career, I have been involved in dealing with NHS complaints and litigation and have undertaken investigations, prepared reports for regulatory bodies and presented reports at Coroners’ Inquests. In my senior nursing roles, I have provided clinical expertise to and chaired professional practice panels, both in hospital, the community and also within university organisations.
I have developed a range of leadership skills through undertaking clinical roles at different levels. For example, I have led ward and hospital teams, led different community teams and worked at board level. My executive director roles have all been clinical and involved me working regularly and frequently in a clinical capacity, in order to bring the nursing and patient experience perspectives to executive and board decision making.
I currently work as a Registered Nurse regularly on community hospital wards and sometimes in care homes, through a nursing agency. The majority of patients in these clinical settings are elderly and frail with complex care and discharge planning needs. In addition to this clinical work, I am currently engaged with Bournemouth University providing research support and clinical advice to the National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice. I have also been teaching and assessing on a Masters/Degree level module on Dementia care through Plymouth University and University Hospitals Plymouth.
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.