DDU appoints new professional services director and expands team


  Posted by: Dental Design      4th April 2024

The Dental Defence Union (DDU) has appointed Dr Caroline Fryar as professional services director to lead the team guiding, supporting, and defending healthcare professionals with ethical and dento-legal issues. Dr Fryar has worked at the Medical Defence Union (MDU), the parent company of the DDU, for seventeen years in various roles. Most recently Caroline was director of medical services and she previously worked as a GP.

The DDU has also expanded its team of dentists who provide expert advice to members involved in complaints and dento-legal incidents.

Caroline will head up a team of over 100, including the new team members. The professional services team provides key services DDU members rely on, such as the 24-hour advice lines, education, guidance and support with complaints. The team is also responsible for defending members in regulatory proceedings and clinical negligence claims. Caroline takes over the role from Dr Hugh Stewart, who has retired after more than 20 years with the defence organisation.

Caroline commented: “It’s a great honour to take on the role of professional services director and I look forward to continuing Hugh’s achievements in developing the services we provide to doctors and dentists across the UK. Our members are working under incredible pressure, and I intend to champion their dento-legal interests so they can focus on safely caring for patients. I am proud to lead such an outstanding professional services team.”

The new members of the DDU team are Anne Budenberg and Shruti Chopra.

Anne is combining her role as a dento-legal adviser at the DDU with her work as a training programme director in the North West and specialty dentist at Manchester Dental Hospital. Anne was previously an educational supervisor, a practice owner and general dental practitioner and held clinical assistant posts in orthodontics and sedation. She also mentors UK and international graduates.

Anne commented: “I am a strong advocate for dental education and have developed risk management programmes for dental practitioners. I am looking forward to using these skills to support DDU members.”

Shruti combines her work for the DDU as a telephone adviser with working as a practice owner, having been in general dental practice for 15 years. She has previously been an educational supervisor and is involved with foundation dentist training and mentoring dental care professionals.

Shruti commented: “As a practising clinical dentist myself, I can empathise with members and offer genuine support and guidance. This is a rewarding role and members feel reassured to be speaking to a colleague who understands the challenges they face.”

The team of dental and medical advisers took almost 22,000 advice line calls from members in 2023 and the claims handling team closed the majority of dental claims without a payment of damages.

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.