Somek & Associates' Jessica Thurston, Head of Medico-legal Operations and...
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I qualified as an occupational therapist in 1982 and since then I have worked continuously as an occupational therapist in the fields of learning and physical disabilities, primarily with children.
After working as a newly qualified occupational therapist in both the NHS and Social Services, in 1985 I moved to Cairo, Egypt where I remained working until 2002. Whilst abroad I worked in diverse environments and on various projects all related to children with disabilities.
Since 2003 I have combined working as an occupational therapist in independent practice with case management.
I have varied occupational therapy work experience including working with children in their homes, at rehabilitation clinics, in hospitals and within educational environments. My current caseload typically includes children and young adults aged 5-24 years with complex and challenging disabilities, including autistic spectrum disorder, acquired brain injury, cerebral palsy, various syndromes and endocrine disorders.
As a case manager I work primarily with children aged 19 years with severe and long-term disabilities. My work involves assessing the overall needs of clients and their families and helping to plan their future lifestyle. Recruitment of other professionals, such as physiotherapists and speech and language therapists may be required, and I often recruit carers and manage care teams of varying sizes and complexity.
I undertook expert witness work with Maggie Sargent and Associates from November 2012. From February 2015 I have worked as an expert witness with Somek and Associates and since then I only accept cases for Somek and Associates. As an expert witness with Somek and Associates, I provide reports on the occupational therapy and/or care needs of children and young adults with complex needs. In addition to English, I speak good Egyptian dialect Arabic.
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.