This is a section of our chaperone policy, the full policy is available to view from the surgery.
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. It is applicable to all clinicians who conduct procedures where a chaperone may be deemed appropriate either by the clinician or patient.
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.
- The clinician should give the patient a clear explanation of what the examination will involve.
- Always adopt a professional and considerate manner - be careful with humour as a way of relaxing a nervous situation as it can easily be misinterpreted.
- Always ensure that the patient is provided with adequate privacy to undress and dress.
- Ensure that a suitable sign is clearly on display in each consulting or treatment room offering the chaperone service if required.
This should remove the potential for misunderstanding. However, there will still be times when either the clinician, or the patient, feels uncomfortable, and it would be appropriate to consider using a chaperone. Patients who request a chaperone should never be examined without a chaperone being present. If necessary, where a chaperone is not available, the consultation / examination should be rearranged for a mutually convenient time when a chaperone can be present.
Complaints and claims have not been limited to male clinicians with female patients - there are many examples of alleged homosexual assault by female and male clinicians. Consideration should also be given to the possibility of a malicious accusation by a patient.
There may be rare occasions when a chaperone is needed for a home visit. The following procedure should still be followed.