Dr Matthew Lee New Chief Executive at DDU

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New Chief Executive at DDU vows continued support for members in challenging times

The Medical Defence Union (MDU), the parent company of the Dental Defence Union (DDU), has announced the appointment of Dr Matthew Lee as its new chief executive. Dr Lee will take over from Dr Christine Tomkins, who is retiring in September. Dr Tomkins has been in the role since 2009 and worked for the company for more than 36 years.

Dr Lee is currently director of professional services at the DDU, with responsibility for the key services members rely on; including 24-hour dento-legal advisory support, claims handling, legal services and clinical risk management. Dr Lee joined the organisation in 2000 from a background in paediatrics and anaesthetics in the Wessex region.

He initially worked for the company as a medico-legal adviser and clinical risk manager before taking on broader management responsibilities. Dr Lee said: “It’s a great privilege to be appointed to this role and I look forward to taking over Christine’s work of championing the dento-legal interests of our members.

“During the pandemic, our members have been under tremendous pressure and we know that many challenges lie ahead such in supporting them with increasing numbers of complaints and claims. In the 20 years since I joined the company, I have watched it grow and modernise while retaining an absolute focus on member needs.

“Over the next few years, I aim to build on that success, ensuring that our services are not just of the highest quality but also constantly evolving to meet the changing realities of modern dental practice.

“We aim to broaden the range of benefits and services we provide in line with being a not-for-profit, wholly member-owned company that exists for no other reason than to support, guide and defend our members in their everyday work. I am delighted to have the opportunity to take on this exciting and challenging role and look forward to leading us from strength to strength.”

John Makin, head of the DDU said: “We are proud to continue our long tradition of being the only UK medical defence organisation with a clinician at the helm. Being a mutual, dentists for dentists organisation, Matt’s appointment is a welcome one, ensuring we continue to put members at the heart of everything we do.”

Dr Christine Tomkins added: “I’m delighted Matt will be taking over from me later this year. He has great depth and breadth of experience and a deep understanding of our work and our commitment to members. I am confident he will ensure continuing success in the years ahead.”