Jessica Thurston, Chief Operating Officer at Somek and Associates, has recently had an article...
- To speak to one of the team, an expert, or for more information please contact us
Contact our office
Make an enquiry
MSc Midwifery, PG Dip Ed, BA, RM, RN, Diploma in Professional Studies in Nursing, Full Member of Expert Witness Institute (MEWI)
I qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1982, and went on to qualify as a Registered Midwife in 1984. I have practised clinically in all areas, most of them at a senior level, and taught both students and midwives whilst working as a Midwife Lecturer at Bournemouth University.
I worked as a Practice Development Midwife for the Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from April 2011 to May 2015. This was a multi-faceted role, involving client care, education, and management; providing client care both directly and as support to newly qualified staff. My line-manager responsibilities were to a group of newly qualified midwives, supporting both in clinical practice and educational development. I also acted as ‘Board Holder’ through a rota system being the senior midwife for the service across the conurbation and wider geographical area. I continue to work clinically across different Trusts and support service developments on an ad-hoc basis, dependent on need and in response to untoward incidents. I regularly supported students in their clinical placements and contributed to assessments via OSCEs. I studied on a part-time basis, completing a variety of law courses via The Open University / College of Law; and completed some modules from the master’s in medical law and Ethics programme. I am a PROMPT trainer, providing multidisciplinary training in obstetric emergencies, and ‘live drills’ in accordance with a national framework.
I was appointed by NHS England to act as a Supervisor of Midwives concurrent to my substantive role. Within this role I provided guidance and leadership to midwives and act as a role model. I support the development of best practice through audit, education and implementing of guidelines, which are subject to peer review. Following investigation of untoward incidents I have supported midwives through developmental support and supervised practice. I became an expert witness in 2013 and my case work is split between instructions from both Defendant and Claimant and the nursing and midwifery council (NMC).
During my clinical career, I regularly updated guidelines in response to national guidance changes and/or in response to clinical incidents and I was a consistent peer reviewer for British Journal of Midwifery. I maintained my knowledge and competence through updating and attendance at conferences and symposiums. In addition, in 2018 I was a confidential enquiry panel assessor reviewing births in midwife led facilities (ESMiE).
Since January 2020, I have been working in a part-time capacity for Yeovil District Hospital, across all areas of the integrated service. I continue to support students both in practice and formal university assessments. I remain a peer reviewer for British Journal of Midwifery and audit practice for the Trust on a monthly basis as part of the Saving Babies Lives initiative.
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.