Somek & Associates' Jessica Thurston, Head of Medico-legal Operations and...
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BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
I am an experienced Occupational Therapist with expertise in providing assessments and clinical interventions for individual patients (adults and children). I have a special interest in those who have acquired neurological conditions or complex physical and / or learning disabilities. I have extensive experience working with those with complex postural difficulties and who require access to specialist equipment to meet their needs. In addition, I work with clients with spinal cord injury, amputation, orthopaedic injuries including upper and lower limb injuries. I have compiled many reports which outline therapy and predicted therapy needs.
Since qualifying as an OT in 1995, I have worked within the NHS in the areas of inpatient and intermediate rehabilitation, neurology, orthopaedics and hand rehabilitation. I have also worked for paediatric charities, a private head injury rehabilitation unit and in Social Services.
I have worked as an independent clinician since 2008 assisting clients with a range of therapy needs. In addition, I commenced the role of case manager also in 2008, working with clients prior to and following settlement. I have, and continue to recruit support workers, manage complex care packages and co -ordinate team meetings as required. In September 2021 I was appointed as the Clinical Lead of Breakthrough Case Management, providing quality assurance, mentoring and supervision to other case managers in the company.
Within my case management role, my input has included initial needs assessments, discharge planning, commencing, monitoring and reviewing MDT input, liaising with building project management teams and overseeing adaptations and linking with the litigation teams as required. I provide case management services for adults and children who have brain injury and / or complex physical and psychological disabilities. This identifies the services which will enable the client to live in a manner as close as possible to the lifestyle they would have had if the injury had not occurred.
In addition I undertake work as an independent occupational therapist for adults and children with complex disabilities. This role includes direct treatment, equipment provision and advice regarding adaptive housing and access to education.
I joined Somek and Associates in 2008. 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. I have completed joint statements and attended court on a number of occasions.
British Association of Occupational Therapists