Somek & Associates' Jessica Thurston, Head of Medico-legal Operations and...
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MSc Research & Evidence Based Practice, BA (Hons) Health Studies, Diploma in Nursing
I qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1985 and gained experience in Neurosurgery and General Medicine Wards before spending time overseas. Whilst working abroad my experience included clinical practice work in Intensive Care, Cardiothoracic Recovery and general Orthopaedic Wards.
On my return to the UK, I practised extensively in the Perioperative Care environment and completed training in Day Surgery, Theatres, Anaesthetics & Recovery practice, as well as Ophthalmic Nursing to enhance my clinical work. Initially, I worked as Lead Nurse for Main Theatres and Day Surgery Services, which included a period as Project Manager for Perioperative Care Modernisation in 2003. This successful project work was aligned to the Modernisation Agency Programme; a series of service improvement projects for theatres, focused on improving theatre performance (both elective and emergency services), enhancing patient access and experience and improving employee satisfaction and performance. Subsequently I took up the post of Head of Nursing & Service Manager for Theatres, Anaesthetics and Critical Care. This was an exciting period with the successful opening of a new 16-bedded Critical Care Unit and transformation projects in theatres including new services in the Day Surgery Unit and better waiting times for patients.
Prior to my current portfolio roles, I worked as Chief Nursing Officer within a Primary Care at Scale organisation and had primary responsibility and accountability for Quality Assurance & Governance, Risk Management and ensuring achievement of the regulatory requirements and standards of the Care Quality Commission. Part of this meant undertaking site quality review visits and working closely with staff and patients to improve local services and share best practice. I provided professional leadership of the Nursing and AHP staff and delivered clinical supervision and professional mentoring to Lead Nurses and Matrons. My role involved ensuring the implementation of organisational objectives, local and national clinical policy, Care Quality Commission standards, and the achievement of benchmarks and targets at local, regional and national level. I regularly undertook clinical shifts in the Community Surgery Scheme, acting as lead perioperative care practitioner. This enabled me to ensure my clinical skills and knowledge of procedures and processes were up to date.
I currently work part time as a Clinical Practitioner in a Primary Care setting, acting as Surgical First Assistant and Perioperative Care Practitioner. I also work as a Project Manager within an Acute Trust as Project Manager and Workstream Lead for Elective Care transformation, leading a programme of innovation and improvement work as part of the organisation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.