News (MDU Journal April 2014) - The MDU

Gold standard service

The MDU's membership team strives to provide a gold standard service to members.

To find out what members think of the service they receive, we set up an online quarterly satisfaction survey in 2012. The results have been very encouraging.

Since the survey began, 92% of respondents have been either 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with our service, and 89% would recommend the MDU to their colleagues.

Members can contact us via email, letter, fax and website, but many prefer to call. We know how busy you are, so we make sure we answer at least 80% of calls within 20 seconds. Over 98% of respondents are 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with our call answering times. They also had some very positive things to say about the service they went on to receive. Here is a selection of comments.

"Staff over the phone were very warm and helpful. I felt the MDU really cared about my membership and practice."

"Absolutely wonderful, considerate, polite and professional service – well done!"

"Every time I have dealt with the MDU I have been very impressed with the service I have received and feel that it is money well spent."

"Wonderful service throughout my career since 1953!"

We continue to strive to improve our service and ask for your feedback on how we're doing.

NHSLA guidance on apologising

Fifty per cent of patients just want an apology when they have suffered harm as a result of their healthcare, according to new guidance for trusts from the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA).

Saying Sorry stresses the importance of openness with patients and apologising verbally as soon as possible after the incident comes to light, followed by a written apology. This should happen, the NHSLA says, regardless of whether the patient has or is planning to complain or bring a claim.

The guidance echoes advice the MDU has given to members for many years on apologising and emphasises that saying sorry is not an admission of liability.

FFLM Diploma in Legal Medicine

The Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine (FFLM) has introduced a new qualification for anyone with an interest in legal medicine, but who doesn't meet the strict entry criteria for the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine's MFFLM qualification.

The Diploma in Legal Medicine is open to all. The FFLM envisages this might include medical and nursing examiners; clinical risk managers; expert witnesses; forensic nurses, paramedics and psychiatrists; coroners; responsible officers, and many others interested in legal medicine.

Successful candidates will gain the post-nominals DLM, although the qualification will not entitle them to undertake specific forensic or legal medicine work. Registered doctors who gain a distinction will be exempt from the first part of the MFFLM.

The qualification was developed by the FFLM, with input from the MDU and other medical defence organisations.

Dr Caroline Fryar, MDU head of advisory services and lead examiner for the diploma, says, 'The examination broadly reflects the first part of the MFFLM and is designed to allow candidates to demonstrate an excellent grounding in the principles of legal medicine.'

The first examination will take place in June 2014 and the closing date for applications is 2 May. For details on applying, fees and an optional online training package, visit

Good news about complaints

We'd like to hear from members who turned a patient complaint into a patient compliment.

Complaints can turn out well when handled appropriately, with no lasting harm to the doctor-patient relationship. Did your patient appreciate your response and understand what happened to give rise to the complaint? Did you win their praise for your openness and sincere apology? Perhaps you changed your practice as a result of the experience?

If this has happened to you, please let us know. We would like to publish stories about the flip side of patient complaints in future MDU Journals.

Send your anonymised story to

We look forward to hearing from you.

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This page was correct at publication on . 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.


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