Jessica Thurston, Chief Operating Officer at Somek and Associates, has recently had an article...
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Higher Diploma in Midwifery
I qualified as a midwife in 1996 and since then have undertaken a multitude of clinical midwifery roles within a variety of high and low risk areas individually, as part of, or leading a team.
For ten years I specialised in caring for high risk women and their babies on a busy delivery suite, covering the High Dependancy Unit and as a scrub nurse in the Maternity Theatres during caesarean sections.
Since 2013 my area of expertise has been in antenatal care, covering inductions of labour and a range of high risk antenatal cases. During this time I have gained experience in the SPRING Unit - caring for bereaved women, partners and their babies, antenatally, in labour, through delivery and postnatally.
In 2015 I pioneered the Antenatal Day Assessment (ANDA) night-time ‘Triage Service’ where I was the only midwife covering this shift throughout the trial phase. This has become such a success throughout the maternity unit that it qualified for funding and is now being staffed around the clock. ANDA Triage is run by one midwife working closely with a care assistant, making over the phone decisions and emergency assessments of patients face to face when required.
For the last five years, I have worked on an extremely busy Antenatal Day Assessment unit as an autonomous practitioner, assessing patients on an individual basis involving routine cases, emergency cases and ultrasound scan reviews in addition to triage shifts. This ranged from caring for women with reduced/ absent fetal movements through to abdominal pain, bleeding, pre-eclampsia, pre-term labour and many more high-risk cases.
In addition to this, I have also worked regularly in the consultant-led antenatal clinics and on ‘Labourline’, a free telephone triage service staffed by one midwife, covering three local NHS trusts. This involves offering maternity support and advice and arranging appropriate care if required by health professionals, for women covering all aspects of antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal situations. This telephone triage service also includes giving advice during emergency cases, such as talking family members through delivering a baby at home, to advising and supporting paramedics with ladies experiencing major vaginal bleeding.
I am an excellent communicator and decision maker with the ability to quickly gain trust amongst both patients and colleagues in high stress environments. Also I am proficient at referring to and liaising with senior and medical staff where appropriate, and enjoy supporting student and junior midwives.
Most recently I am acting as full-time clinical lead midwife for safety in the high risk, busy maternity unit.
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.