Congratulations to Jessica Thurston, Somek & Associates' Chief Operating Officer and...
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I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1997. Since then I have worked as a clinician, manager and trainer with varied experience in both Health and Social Care. I am a specialist in the field of moving and handling and am committed to providing the highest quality assessments and service provision to my clients, both in the community and in the hospital environment.
I have gained experience in discharge planning, both during my years working in busy London hospitals and, more recently, working in the community closely with hospital therapists in order to ensure a smooth transition from hospital to home.
My extensive knowledge of acute and chronic conditions, including but not limited to dementia, CVA, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, cerebral palsy, arthritis and various orthopaedic conditions allows me to identify and anticipate current and future functional limitations in my clients. The vast majority of my experience is with over 18s.
In my current role, the assessments I carry out involve consideration of all activities of daily living. I frequently assess for specialist seating, shower commode chairs (both often involving joint visits with company reps), beds and bed mobility as well as care package requirements and of course specialist moving and handling equipment ranging from handling belts and glide sheets to ceiling track hoists.
I also carry out regular assessments on behalf of Bexley CCG, which often involves work with people at the end of their lives. I am able to identify the necessity for and feasibility of installing major adaptations such as wet rooms, stair lifts and through floor lifts, along with any rehabilitation potential in my clients.
I have arranged and led multiple moving and handling training sessions and practice forums and I am an articulate and confident speaker in my area of expertise. I regularly attend The National Back Exchange Conference and the local Kent Group sessions and was a committee member of the local group for a number of years.
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.