John Jackson Consulting

Personal statement
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Personal Statement

Personal Statement

I switched to studying medicine after studying physics and mathematics at Cambridge University. This had been the natural sequel to a mistaken choice of subjects at the age of 15. I qualified in medicine with the only double honours degree in my year at Birmingham University. After qualifying, I planned to enter a surgical speciality and took an appointment in the Birmingham Physiology Department as a Temporary Lecturer while I worked for the Primary Examination of the Royal College of Surgeons.


Phase 1 of scientific experience


In the Physiology Department, I also became involved in microvascular research and learnt about electronic instrumentation, electronics and analogue computation. but was poorly supervised and the publication of some of my work was not possible because of internal conflicts in the Department. Nevertheless, publications 1,4,5 & 9 resulted. In addition, I had a major teaching load and became involved in educational research and curricular development. Publications 2,3,4 & 7 reflect this interest.


Phase 2 of scientific experience


I progressively ceased to work on microvascular physiology because of the conflicts to which I alluded and switched my attention to the application of physiological techniques to clinical problems. Publications 6,8,10,11,12 reflect this. A considerable effort in this phase was put into the development of a hybrid computer which was applied to patients after by-pass surgery and derived haemodynamic indices based on intraventricular and aortic pressure and on aortic root blood flow. This computer was demonstrated (using tape-recorded data) at the Medical Research Society in 1974 and very nearly received major financial support from the British Heart Foundation in 1976. Their decision not to support the work was, as it turned out, wise since digital computing techniques would rapidly have supplanted the hardware; however, it was material in my looking for new pastures which led me, eventually, into occupational medicine.


Phase 3 of scientific experience


Initially, my time in occupational medicine was pre-occupied with gaining the necessary experience as quickly as possible and acquiring the Diploma in Industrial Health. I was asked to give lectures in Physiology to the new M.Sc. Toxicology course at Birmingham University Department of Biochemistry. This developed into research project supervision and active involvement in research programmes. Publications 14, 18 & 22 reflect this. Within the field of occupational medicine proper, I endeavoured where there were health problems to investigate these scientifically and publish the findings. Publications 13, 15 & 17 are the results of this. It is noteworthy that these papers cover clinical, epidemiological and biological monitoring aspects.


In both my jobs in the Chemical Industry, I have been intimately involved in product safety evaluation and product stewardship including, in the early days, ecotoxicology. I have practical experience of Risk Assessment and of the related scientific and regulatory aspects. The range of products included industrial chemicals, food additives -e.g., phosphates, aspartame, gums, etc. - (which has given me experience of food safety) plasticizers, coatings and resins (which has introduced me to food contact and indirect food additive issues), surfactants and biocides (which has given me experience of cosmetics, toiletries and household products sectors) and pesticides (which has given me experience of food residue issues, ADIs, etc.).


Latterly, the need to maintain a high level of understanding in various fields with which I was concerned has presented the opportunity to publish reviews of work with which I was closely connected but had not personally undertaken (Publications 16,19,20 & 21). Indeed, with the exception of the Ecotoxicological section, most of the EHC on Ammonia was rewritten by me in my capacity as rapporteur. The (solicited) publication "Engineering for Health" is a consideration of the need to integrate control measures for workplace hazards into process control and develops the concept of "control-measure-monitoring" as the basis of hazard control in the workplace. It was a pleasant opportunity to publish what one thinks rather than what one has done!


In later years, I became increasingly involved in the committee structure of the chemical and related industries with regard to occupational and product health and safety matters. This gave me excellent opportunities to appreciate the non-scientific aspects of occupational health and toxicology and I have greatly benefited from the cross-fertilisation of ideas which results from working with colleagues from related disciplines. This experience has included work in regulatory affairs and regular contacts with the European Commission.


I have managed the occupational medicine and hygiene functions in two companies and the toxicology manager in the Europe-Africa world area and I have been involved in team-work in relation to many aspects of the business, including Total Quality Management, business process re-design etc. I have been involved to the extent of writing the Project Scope and User Requirement Definition in the development of major corporate computer systems and project management and budgeting in this and other spheres.


Recent Experience


Since starting my own company in 1997, I have had to develop my skills in all the aspects of running a small business and managing contracts with clients. When your livelihood depends on it, “client focus” becomes a reality! In addition to some on-going service commitments, we are now dealing with several tens of investigations and reports per year.


The table below indicates the experience I have in producing Expert Reports in cases relating to litigation, insurance claims, pension and employment tribunal appeals. A recent survey of instructing solicitors and officers confirmed the quality and helpfulness of my reports.


While it would be foolish to claim that I am a major original scientist with a significant contribution in any field, I believe that my wide experience in physical and biological sciences and in clinical medicine, my mathematical training and the fact that I have  actively practised in the fields of occupational medicine, occupational hygiene and toxicology enable me to make an unusual contribution to scientific deliberations which often seems to clarify or resolve issues and is therefore useful.


On the managerial and political sides, I have useful experience. I have participated in many task forces and teams, often as leader but also as rapporteur and generally with success. I enjoy strategic planning and can delegate tactical aspects where appropriate. I am interested in Management systems and am experienced in the development of policy, procedures, standards and auditing. I have completed the Bywater plc training course in Quality Assurance Auditing. I have undertaken major Management Consultancy projects for BASF, a UK Health Authority and Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned petrochemical company.


For your more difficult tasks!