Somek and Associates' Alison Somek, MD, Jessica Thurston, Head of Medico-legal...
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RGN, ENB 100, ENB 998, ENB 920, ENB A06, Advanced Dip Counselling and Psychotherapy
I qualified as a registered nurse in 1986 and worked in a variety of settings post qualifying, including medical, surgical, elderly care and intensive care. I completed post graduate training in Intensive care nursing and held a sister's post in Intensive care from 1990 to 1994, before leaving the NHS to raise my young family. I then worked part time as a nurse in a variety of settings, including a school, private hospital and care home until I was able to work full time again.
Since 2011, I have been working in a hospital setting. I have held lead nurse posts in pre assessment, outpatients and clinical governance.
I returned to the NHS in 2016, as the lead Nurse in a busy trauma and orthopaedic outpatients department, and during this time I helped set up a virtual fracture clinic, which reduced the waiting times in the main clinic. In this period I also took an Interim post as matron, overseeing the orthopaedic wards and managing the rheumatology, chronic pain and imaging nursing teams.
In March 2020, I returned to intensive care to help with the Covid pandemic efforts, whilst still overseeing the running of the trauma and outpatient clinic nursing team. In 2021 I held the role of matron of a private post operative rehabilitation centre in Guildford that predominantly cares for patients following orthopaedic surgery. I held responsibility for the clinical safety of the patients in our care and was in charge of the nursing and care teams. I am currently working part time in outpatients, pre-assessing patients for their surgical procedures and assisting with various clinics.
My clinical skills include nursing assessment of patients prior to surgery, recording ECG’s, escalating concerns to Anaesthetist. I deliver medication and healthcare advice to patients prior to their surgery. I am proficient in all aspects of general nursing, including undertaking risk assessments such as falls risks and implementing falls prevention measures. I can identify patients at risk of developing pressure sores, ensuring that appropriate steps are taken to mitigate the risks.
During my career I have had to monitor and investigate complaints and incidents, support staff through the process, feedback to the quality team and write up reports on the findings. Typical incidents are drug errors that have led to patient harm, pressure sores, missed fractures and the circumstances that led to such incidents. I have set up and ensured that regular clinical governance meetings are held to ensure that staff learn from mistakes and incidents, whilst facilitating necessary interventions to prevent repeat errors.
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.