Somek & Associates' Jessica Thurston, Head of Medico-legal Operations and...
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BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
After qualifying as an occupational therapist in 2001 from Oxford Brookes University, my career started in mental health before moving into physical disability. Since qualifying I have worked in the NHS in a wide variety of in-patient and community settings.
Throughout my career I have developed competent clinical experience in mental health, rehabilitation, falls prevention, visual impairment, equipment provision and home adaptations, manual handling, neurology, cardiac, respiratory, renal, orthopaedics and elderly care. I have developed specialist skills in seating and postural management in a wheelchair service, and in oncology and palliative care.
As a lead clinician in a wheelchair service I became competent and efficient in assessment and treatment of clients with complex seating and postural needs and the lead therapist for clients with neurological conditions as well as representing the wheelchair service on the Trust wide pressure ulcer working group.
Through working in oncology and palliative care settings I have been able to adapt my treatment approach and develop palliative rehabilitation, symptom control, manual handling and fatigue management skills as well as being able to offer advice and emotional support to clients following cancer diagnosis. My role at Guy’s hospital allowed me the opportunity to work within lung cancer outpatients and pre assessment clinics for clients due for extensive head and neck surgery following their cancer diagnosis.
I have developed strong clinical and assessment skills ensuring that I am able to take the bigger picture into consideration. I am able to adapt my approaches to suit the individual person and situation.
I have excellent written and verbal communication skills which have been developed from my previous degree in Modern Languages, my previous career in banking and from working as and OT in London where I have worked with clients from varied ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
My extensive experience has helped me develop a fresh, flexible and client centred approach to assessment and treatment planning. I am able to transfer this experience, along with my general and specialist skills into many different clinical areas with great success and results.
I am currently studying for a post graduate diploma in Postural Management for People with Complex Disabilities, which I am due to complete in June 2022.
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.