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.
A chaperone can be requested by either
- The patient or
- The clinician
Patients who request a chaperone should never be examined without a chaperone being present.
Who Can Act as a Chaperone?
Chaperones should be clinical staff familiar with procedural aspects of personal examination. On the very rare occasion when this is not possible then a member of staff who has received formal training as a Chaperone can be used.
The chaperone should only be present for the examination itself, and most discussion with the patient should take place while the chaperone is not present.
Patients should be reassured that all practice staff understand their responsibility not to divulge confidential information.
- The clinician will contact reception to request a chaperone.
- Where no chaperone is available, a clinician may offer to delay the examination to a date when one will be available, as long as the delay would not have an adverse effect on the patient’s health.
- If a clinician wishes to conduct an examination with a chaperone present but the patient does not agree to this, the clinician must clearly explain why they want a chaperone to be present. The clinician may choose to consider referring the patient to a colleague who would be willing to examine them without a chaperone, as long as the delay would not have an adverse effect on the patient’s health.
- The clinician will record in the notes that the chaperone is present, and identify the chaperone.
- The chaperone will enter the room discreetly and remain in the room until the clinician has finished the examination.
- The chaperone will normally attend inside the curtain at the head of the examination couch and watch the procedure.
- To prevent embarrassment, the chaperone should not enter into conversation with the patient or GP unless requested to do so, or make any mention of the consultation afterwards.