MDU expands its help for doctors in trouble

A service to help doctors suffering a GMC investigation has been extended to include other medico-legal matters such as inquests, complex complaints and claims. 

The Medical Defence Union (MDU), which launched the support in 2020, said its wider support package would come to the aid of more healthcare professionals in distress.

Its peer support programme connects members struggling over a complex medico-legal matter with a colleague who has been through a similar process. The colleagues offer personal support, guidance and reassurance. 

Matthew Lee

Chief executive Dr Matthew Lee said: ‘Members have told us time and again that dealing with incidents can impact both their professional and personal lives – and that having a conversation with a colleague who has been through something similar and come out of the other side can be a huge comfort. 

‘For example, one member told us: “As well as legal advice, it would be good to have access to practical support, be that peer support or a counsellor.” 

We are delighted to be able to extend the peer support programme so that more members will have someone to talk to at a difficult time.’

The revamped service came as the MDU’s 2022 report disclosed:

 MDU solicitors representing medical members in Medical Pract­itioner Tribunal service (MPTS) cases between 2017-21 achieved no finding of impairment in over 40% of cases. The equivalent MPTS figure for outcomes overall is 25%.

 During 2022, it closed 82% of medical claims without a payment of damages. In total, where cases came to trial, it had a success rate of 60%.

 99% of calls to its medico- and dento-legal advice lines were answered within 20 seconds.

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