Chaperone Policy


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You are very welcome to be accompanied by a trusted friend or relative at your consultation if you wish, and this is all the more important if English is not your first language, or if you feel you might not be able to express what you need clearly to the doctor or nurse.  

In additon, for intimate examinations, you will be offered the choice of having another professional clinician present at the examination. This is called chaperoning.

Because we are a small practice this might not be possible at all times. If we cant allocate a chaperone when you wish one to be there, then we can reschedule your examination to another time.

What is a Chaperone?

A chaperone is a person who serves as a witness for both a patient and a medical practitioner as a safeguard for both parties during a medical examination or procedure and is a witness to continuing consent of the procedure. They are members of the Practice team who have completed relevant training and been assessed as competent. You can expect the chaperone to be:

  • Pleasant, approachable and professional in manner, able to put you at ease.
  • Competent and safe.
  • Clean and presentable.
  • Confidential.

Why do we need Chaperones?

There are two considerations involved in having a chaperone to assist during intimate examinations; namely for the comfort of the patient and the protection of the doctor/nurse from allegations of impropriety.


What is an "Intimate Examination"?

Obvious examples of an intimate examination include examinations of the breasts, genitalia and the rectum but it also extends to any examination where it is necessary to touch or be close to the patient for example conducting eye examinations in dimmed lighting or taking your blood pressure.


Where will the Chaperone stand?

The positioning of the chaperone will depend on several factors for example the nature of the examination and whether or not the chaperone has to help the clinician with the procedure. The clinician will explain to you what the chaperone will be doing and where they shall be in the room.


The rights of the Patient

All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required. Patients also have the right to decline the offer of a chaperone. However the clinician may feel that it would be wise to have a chaperone present for their mutual protection for example, an intimate examination on a young person.

If the patient still declines the doctor will need to decide whether or not they are happy to proceed in the absence of a chaperone. This will be a decision based on both clinical need and the requirement for protection against any potential allegations of improper conduct.


Concern about a Chaperone

Patients should raise any concerns via the practice’s usual complaints procedure.


When a Chaperone is not available

There may be rare occasions when a chaperone is unavailable. In such circumstances the doctor will assess the circumstances and decide if it is appropriate to go ahead without one. Alternatively, you may be asked to make another appointment at a mutually convenient time.