Somek & Associates' Jessica Thurston, Head of Medico-legal Operations and...
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BSc Occupational Therapy, Full Member of Expert Witness Institute (MEWI)
Certified Disability Management Professional, International Disability Management Standards Council (ICMSC).
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2006 and since then I have worked in a variety of clinical settings and treated people of all ages with a range of conditions in the areas of trauma, orthopaedics, amputations, cardiology, neurology, medical, surgical and chronic fatigue syndrome. Having worked on general medicine and elderly medicine wards for a number of years I have provided occupational therapy interventions for patients with a variety of long and short term conditions including diabetes, respiratory conditions,gastroenterology patients and those with stomas.
I have a wide knowledge base and a thorough understanding of the effects of pain, illness and disability on quality of life.
In addition, I undertake work on a private basis for clients who have suffered catastrophic personal injuries such as orthopaedic injuries, traumatic brain injuries or crush injuries as a result of road traffic accidents, medical negligence or accidents in the workplace. I have prepared a large number of reports for private clients to date, including recommendations for major adaptations, equipment assessments, work place assessments and ongoing rehabilitation packages to maximise client’s return to independence and inclusion in pre-injury activities.
I previously worked for the NHS as Lead Occupational Therapist for the Elderly Medicine team in Derby. My role involved leading the team towards achieving excellence in elderly related occupational therapy intervention. This frequently included treating patients with a variety of medical and surgical conditions, including: orthopaedic and cardiac conditions, lower limb amputees, general surgical, neurology (brain injuries, stroke, Parkinson's Disease), sight and hearing impairments, respiratory conditions and diabetes. Other areas of expertise within my NHS role included falls management and prevention, recommendation of packages of care and rehabilitation packages and living well with dementia. As a Manual Handling Key Trainer for the Trust, I provided regular training sessions to staff ensuring high standards of manual handling skills were maintained.
I accept instruction 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.