DDU reveals over 99% of requests for help with dento-legal cases are supported

We reveal today that almost all the requests received from dental professional members for help with dento-legal issues are supported.

The DDU provides full assistance, which can include legal defence and claims indemnity, in over 99.5% of cases.

The DDU released the figures as its parent company, the Medical Defence Union (MDU) published its annual report for 2020. The report shows the benefit of mutual defence organisation membership for dental professionals at a time of rapidly evolving dento-legal need.

Dr Christine Tomkins, MDU chief executive, said:

"At a time of so much change and upheaval for dental professionals, it is crucial they can rely on us for support when they need it. As we explain in our annual report, our team of expert advisers, who are dentists and doctors themselves, assisted with over 35,000 requests for assistance or advice from our members in 2020. We exist to provide support with issues such as complaints, GDC investigations and disciplinary matters and demand for our services is currently at record levels.

"Against this climate, it is reassuring for members to know that, over the last five years, we have assisted with over 99.5% of requests for our help. Our member guide clearly sets out the many areas in which we can support members.

"Our discretion to assist with cases gives us the flexibility to respond to members' changing circumstances. It also sets us apart from insured indemnity providers as our benefits are provided on an occurrence basis with no policy exclusions or set financial limits. We are proud of our unrivalled support for members and detail some of the heartfelt thanks we have received in the report."

John Makin, head of the DDU, commented:

"Every member's experience of this most unpredictable time has been unique and their dedication to patient care has been unwavering. It is more important than ever that dental professionals know they can turn to us for consistent and tailored advice and support. As a not-for-profit organisation owned by dental professionals, doctors and allied healthcare professionals, we will be there to guide, support and defend members at every stage. This is the case irrespective of how they have chosen to interpret and apply the recently ever-changing guidance."

Results highlighted in the MDU's annual report for 2020 include:

  • 82% of GDC cases involving DDU members at the case examiner stage were resolved without referral to a hearing.
  • Of cases referred to a GDC Professional Conduct Committee hearing 82% were concluded without a finding of impairment.
  • 56% of dental claims brought against members were successfully defended.
  • 98% of calls to our dento-legal advisers during working hours were answered within 20 seconds. The average speed of answering was 11 seconds.

This page was correct at publication on 16/08/2021. 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.