A chaperone is an independent* and appropriately trained person, whose role is to independently observe an examination or procedure undertaken by a clinician with the aim of assisting the ‘clinician – patient’ relationship. The presence of a chaperone ensures that a patient’s dignity is preserved and also adds a layer of protection for the clinician. Chaperones are mainly used for ‘intimate’ examinations however they can also be used for other circumstances and situations (for example, if there has been a difficulty or misunderstanding between a clinician and a patient at a prior encounter). An intimate examination is what a patient considers to be embarrassing / intimate.
You can request a chaperone either when booking your appointment or arrival at the surgery for your appointment, or through the clinician at the beginning of the consultation. We respectfully request that you make your requirement for a chaperone known as soon as possible, to allow us to make the necessary arrangements. If the clinician believes the consultation will require a chaperone and you have not requested one, they will offer you a chaperone. The surgery have both male and female trained chaperones available. The clinician will record that you have been offered (and if this was accepted or declined) or have requested a chaperone and will then record the identity of the chaperone (if one is present). The chaperone should stand in a position to properly observe the procedure so that they are able to act as an independent witness as to how the examination / procedure was carried out. If you require an intimate examination which the clinician believes is in your clinical interest, and a chaperone is not available, the clinician will discuss the need for this examination with you, but you have the right to refuse the examination without a chaperone present. Please be aware that the clinician may not be able to provide an accurate diagnosis if they are unable to carry out the necessary investigations and may therefore require you to re-book an appointment when a chaperone can be made available.
A copy of the practice’s Chaperone Policy is available on request.
*Please be aware that whilst family members or friends can act as informal chaperones, there may be occasions where a formal chaperone is required.