Legal experts respond to complaints rise
The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has recruited five additional solicitors and a paralegal to help its 200,000 doctor and dentist members who are facing an unprecedented level of complaints and claims.
The MDU, the UK’s largest medical defence organisation, says the newly expanded team will support members with a range of medico-legal challenges, including clinical negligence claims, complaints to the General Medical Council (GMC) and General Dental Council (GDC), coroners’ inquiries, and criminal cases.
With clinical negligence claims increasing in costs and number, leading to claims inflation of over 10% per year and the GMC and GDC both reporting significant increases in complaints during 2012 (18% and 42% respectively), doctors and dentists more than ever need legal support, according to the MDU.1
Charles Dewhurst, head of legal services at the MDU, said: 'We have expanded our in-house legal team to support members who require legal support and advice. The medical and dental professions are subject to a growing level of regulation and scrutiny, with clinical negligence claims and complaints to regulators running at an all time high. However, it is important to say that we see no evidence of a drop in professional standards.
‘Our in-house legal team is committed to achieving the best and fairest outcomes for the members we help. The MDU is successful in rebutting 70% of medical claims we receive and around 90% of GMC complaints in which members are represented by an in-house solicitor do not reach a fitness to practise hearing.’