DDU appoints new chairman and vice-chairman to support member interests

The Dental Defence Union (DDU) today announced the appointment of Dr Simon Watkin and Mr Tom Norfolk as chairman and vice-chairman respectively to the DDU’s board of management.

Dr Watkin will take over as chairman from Dr Paul Riordan-Eva who is retiring after a long career supporting DDU members.

Previously, Dr Watkin was a full-time consultant physician and director of quality at the University of Liverpool’s School of Medicine. He has also chaired the MDU’s cases committee, which reviews high value claims as well as participating in the MDU’s working committees, including the audit, investment, risk advisory and nominations committees.

Based in Cambridgeshire, Mr Norfolk is a clinically active general dental practitioner as well as an educational supervisor for foundation training and a clinical educator for student hygienists. He is also the first dental practitioner to be appointed to the position of vice-chairman of the DDU’s board.

Dr Watkin commented: "It’s a great privilege to be appointed to this role and working with the amazing team at the DDU. I look forward to taking over from Paul and championing the dento-legal interests of our members. The pandemic has meant that our members face greater pressures than ever before, and I know that many challenges lie ahead such as supporting them with increasing numbers of complaints and claims.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to take on this exciting and worthwhile role and look forward to seeing the DDU go from strength to strength."

Mr Norfolk said: "At a time of so much change and upheaval for healthcare professionals, it is vital they can rely on the DDU for support when they need it. This has never been more important because doctors and dentists have needed to adapt their practice to the rapidly changing guidance and circumstances of the pandemic.

"As such, I am really looking forward to working with such a dedicated and experienced team."

Dr Matthew Lee, chief executive at the MDU: "I’m delighted Simon and Tom have become chairman and vice-chairman of the DDU’s board of management. They have a great depth and breadth of experience and a deep understanding of the DDU’s work and our commitment to members."

This page was correct at publication on 11/10/2022. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.