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MDU expands legal team to combat rising claims against GPs

Medical defence experts have been forced to expand their legal team to help GPs face an unprecedented level of complaints and claims.

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has announced that it has recruited five additional solicitors and a paralegal to help them cope with rising demands for advice from their members.

The move comes after the number of medico-legal claims against GPs rose by 40% in 2012 and is now at record levels.

The GMC has also reported a 18% increase in complaints during 2012, and doctors more than ever need legal support, according to the MDU.

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.’

Pulse reported last year that two thirds of GPs have become more defensive in the way they practise medicine over the past year.