Somek & Associates' Alison Somek, MD, Jessica Thurston, Chief Operating Officer, and Amy...
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MSc, RGN, Full Member of Expert Witness Institute (MEWI)
I qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1981 in the specialist field of learning disability practice. Since qualifying I have gained experience working with people of all ages and with individuals who have a wide range of complex needs. I have extensive knowledge of assessing and identifying health and disability needs, and the physical and psychological effects on daily life.
As a Clinical Nurse Manager I was responsible for commissioning and managing complex care packages, and managing the community nursing team in addition to providing advanced clinical assessment, training and care services. I also worked part time as a nurse in contraception and sexual health services for over 25 years. I have undertaken continuing healthcare assessments, including conducting appeals and attendance at tribunals. I have cared for children and adults with a stoma in hospital and community settings. I have also undertaken several expert assessments / care reports in relation to stoma care.
I am a trained Best Interests Assessor and have undertaken a significant number of assessments in respect of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in a range of complex situations. I have carried out formal and detailed capacity assessments, provided reports and recommendations to the NHS and Local Authorities, and also carried out assessments directly for the Court of Protection.
As a Case Manager I have undertaken Independent Needs Assessments, provided rehabilitation case management services to individuals following catastrophic injury, provided detailed witness statements and reports, and gained a good working knowledge of the litigation process. I have advanced assessment and report writing skills, and understand the real costs of rehabilitation, care and case management, providing objective expert advice to health and social services.
After choosing to leave the NHS in 2011, I have worked independently as a Nursing and Care Consultant providing specialist and expert nursing and care assessments to identify needs, assess capacity, or provide information e.g. for continuing healthcare packages including funding appeals. I act as a specialist nursing advisor to the CQC and undertake inspections of nursing/care homes and community based health and social care services, providing feedback/reports on standards of care.
I have written a number of papers in my field and have also published a book based on research undertaken for my MSc in Professional Nursing Practice. In addition, I have facilitated training sessions for Solicitors with Somek & Associates.
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 the Civil procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to Expert Witnesses.