Chaperone Policy

We attach the highest import­ance to ensuring that a culture that values patient privacy and dignity exists within the organisation.

The aim of this policy is to safe­guard patients and staff during epis­odes of care provided within the clinic to provide a guide to best prac­tice in conjunc­tion with Professional Codes of Conduct and policies such as Consent to Examination, Privacy and Dignity, Safeguarding policies.

This policy is in line with: GMC Chaperone Guidance

Chaperones should always be considered where a health profes­sional is carrying out an exam­in­a­tion and should always be present where the exam­in­a­tion / procedure is to be carried out on a minor or a person who lacks capacity.

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.

There are some care inter­ven­tions that should only be carried out in the pres­ence of a chap­erone and prac­ti­tioners are strongly recom­mended to do so. Not involving a chap­erone should be a decision made after careful consid­er­a­tion and discus­sion with the patient.

It is the policy that this decision must be recorded clearly in the patient’s notes, including the rationale.

All patients must give verbal consent to all intimate proced­ures and offered a chap­erone for all intimate procedures.

A relative or friend of the patient is not an impar­tial observer and so would not usually be a suit­able chap­erone, but you should comply with a reas­on­able request to have such a person present as well as a chaperone.

A chap­erone should usually be a health profes­sional and you must be satis­fied that the chap­erone will:

  • Be sens­itive and respect the patient’s dignity and confidentiality.
  • Reassure the patient if they show signs of distress or discomfort.
  • Be familiar with the proced­ures involved in a routine intimate examination.
  • Stay for the whole exam­in­a­tion and be able to see what the doctor is doing, if practical
  • Be prepared to raise concerns if they are concerned about the doctor’s beha­viour or actions.

If either you or the patient does not want the exam­in­a­tion to go ahead without a chap­erone present, or if either of you is uncom­fort­able with the choice of chap­erone, you may offer to delay the exam­in­a­tion to a later date when a suit­able chap­erone will be avail­able, as long as the delay would not adversely affect the patient’s health.

The chap­erone is respons­ible for instructing the prac­ti­tioner to stop if at any time inap­pro­priate conduct is witnessed. This must be reported imme­di­ately. A full report and invest­ig­a­tion will be instigated.

The same process must be followed if the patient raises a concern, regard­less of whether or not the chap­erone agrees.

The chap­erone must always act as the patient advocate.

Chaperone pres­ence should be recorded in the patient’s notes.

Role of Chaperone

  • Provide emotional comfort and reas­sur­ance to patients.
  • Maintaining the patient’s dignity, by only exposing the area requiring examination/treatment by using clothing, gowns, sheets
  • To act as a witness of the continuing consent of the patient to the treatment
  • Have agree­ment from the patient to be present at the consultation.
  • Have the ability and mental capa­city to act as a chaperone.
  • Introduce them­selves to the clinic staff and explain the purpose of their presence.
  • Maintain the confid­en­ti­ality and comply with clinic policies.

A record and details of such event will be kept in the patient’ notes.