The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has recruited six additional staff to advise its members on complaints and claims instigated against them. The MDU says that the newly-expanded team will support members on 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.

The MDU acts as a defence organisation for claims against GPs, dentists and other doctors acting in an individual capacity and provides advice and representation through its in-house team in the first instance.

With rising costs for clinical negligence claims and the GMC and GDC both reporting significant increases in the volume of complaints during 2012 (18% and 42% respectively), doctors and dentists need legal support more than ever, 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.”