Chaperone Policy

This practice is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times and the safety of everyone is of paramount importance. This policy is designed to protect both patients and staff from abuse or allegations of abuse and to assist patients to make an informed choice about their examinations and consultations.

 

Guidelines

Clinicians (male and female) should consider whether an intimate or personal examination of the patient (either male or female) is justified, or whether the nature of the consultation poses a risk of misunderstanding.

A chaperone should be offered:

  • For all intimate examinations (involving breasts, genitalia or rectum)
  • Whenever requested by the patient
  • During potentially difficult psychiatric interviews
  • Where there may be risk of the patient becoming violent or difficult to control
  • Where a minor presents for examination in the absence of a parent or guardian
  • If the parent is intoxicated with alcohol, is under the effect of hallucinogenic drugs or is unconscious

Who can act as a chaperone?

A variety of people can act as a chaperone in the practice. Where possible, it is strongly recommended that chaperones should be clinical staff familiar with the procedural aspects of the personal examination. Where suitable clinical staff members are not available, the examination should be deferred.

Where the practice determine that non-clinical staff will act in this capacity the patient must agree to the presence of a non-clinician in the examination, and be at ease with this. The staff member should be trained in the procedural aspects of personal examinations, comfortable in acting in the role of chaperone, and be confident in the scope and extent of their role. They will have received instruction on where to stand and what to watch and instructions to that effect will be laid down in writing by the practice.