Article by Alison Somek, which featured in the Summer 2019 Edition Of Expert Witness Journal ...
- To speak to one of the team, an expert, or for more information please contact us
Contact our office
Make an enquiry
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 Dependency Unit and as a scrub nurse in the Maternity Theatres during cesarean 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.
I currently practice on an extremely busy ANDA unit. I work there as an autonomous practitioner, assessing patients on an individual basis involving routine cases, emergency cases and ultrasound scan reviews in addition to the Triage shifts.
I also regularly cover ‘Labourline’ - a free phone service staffed by one midwife, dealing with emergency cases, offering support and advice, and arranging appropriate care if necessary by health professionals, for women across my county, covering all aspects of antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal situations.
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.
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.