Congratulations to Jessica Thurston, Somek & Associates' Chief Operating Officer and...
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BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2001 and I have been in independent practice since 2007 and have a sound knowledge of physical, neurological and psycho-social conditions. My key interest is in vocational rehabilitation. I maintain high standards of knowledge and attend training regularly to maintain my professional development in my relevant practice areas.
I was initially employed at Portsmouth Social Services where I carried an extensive caseload, managing a variety of medical and neurological conditions. Key roles in this position were palliative care, long term conditions, major and minor adaptations and equipment provision. I then moved onto a senior position within Southampton Primary Care Trust. In this community intermediate care rehabilitation team I was responsible for the delivery, staffing and development of the Occupational Therapy service. I have worked in both acute and rehabilitation settings and I have a strong skill base in the assessment, treatment and care planning for individuals with complex and long term functional problems.
From 2005-2007 I spent two years in New Zealand working on a variety of vocational rehabilitation and injury management government contracts for Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). I was also actively involved in treating people with chronic pain and fatigue related conditions. I was responsible for the delivery, risk assessment and training of the manual-handling programme at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and then working in the home action team I assessed rehabilitation and care needs for injured clients in the community.
Since returning from New Zealand 11 years ago I set up an independent company Enable Works Ltd and my work has primarily remained focused on neurological occupational therapy, vocational rehabilitation, orthopaedics and as a catastrophic injury case manager. I currently manage a number of clients with complex orthopaedic injuries and acquired brain injury. In my role as a case manager I carry out Immediate Needs Assessments and support clients and their families to identify and engage in essential rehabilitation programmes. I also recruit and train care teams. I work closely with experts and have a good understanding of the medico legal process and the civil procedure rules.
I have specialist skills in vocational assessment and treatment and have completed the Matheson Functional and Cognitive Capacity Evaluators training. I am now qualified and able to complete a variety of tailored vocational capacity evaluations and vocational rehabilitation. I also remain involved in occupational therapy rehabilitation practice and case management.
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 and have given evidence in court.
2000 BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, Southampton University
1998 HND Sport Science and Disability studies, Manchester metropolitan University