Former GP appointed to lead MDU professional services team

Dr Caroline Fryar has been appointed as our new professional services director.

Caroline Fryar

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has appointed Dr Caroline Fryar as professional services director to lead the team guiding, supporting, and defending healthcare professionals with ethical and medico-legal issues. Dr Fryar has worked at the MDU for 17 years in various roles, most recently as director of medical services. She was previously a GP.


Caroline will head up a team of more than 100 staff, providing key services MDU members rely on, such as the 24-hour advice lines, education, guidance and support with complaints and inquests. 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 at the MDU.


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 medico-legal interests so they can focus on safely caring for patients. I am proud to lead such an outstanding professional services team."


The MDU’s medical and dental advisers took almost 22,000 advice line calls from members in 2023 and the claims handling team closed 80% of medical claims without a payment of damages.


During her time at the MDU, Caroline’s achievements include:

  • setting up a specialist disciplinary team, the only one of its kind, which focuses on supporting members when concerns arise about their clinical practice
  • developing the MDU peer support network which offers MDU members involved in a stressful investigation the opportunity to speak with another member who has been through a similar process and can offer a listening ear and support. The MDU is also working with charity Doctors in Distress, to provide confidential and safe spaces and psychological support for doctors.

This page was correct at publication on 04/04/2024. 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.