What does the chaperone policy do?
Our chaperone policy upholds the practice’s policy on equity and diversity. The policy is designed to protect both Patients & Staff from abuse or allegations of abuse and to assist patients in making an informed choice about their examinations & consultations.
Our staff will always...
1) Explain why the examination is needed and what it will involve.
2) Obtain the verbal expressed permission before proceeding.
3) Give the patient privacy to dress and undress
4) Allow the patient to postpone or decline to be examined.
5) If appropriate offer a chaperone and document the fact that the patient has been offered a chaperone and that permission has been given or declined
When might a chaperone be required?
1) Intimate examinations: These are examinations of rectal, genital or breast area.
2) For patients with certain cultural or religious beliefs: Any examination requiring shedding of clothing. This alone may be abhorrent and our staff will always approach the subject with particular sensitivity.
3) Patients with disabilities: A patient with a severe mental or physical disability is unlikely to attend surgery unaccompanied. Our GPs endeavor to communicate with the patient with the assistance of the relative or carer accompanying them. Particular care is taken to ensure the patient is not made to feel that their wishes are being ignored.
4) Examinations by a member of the opposite sex: We understand that in some religions this is effectively taboo, we also understand if you have a non religous personal preference.
5) Examinations on patients with poor English: Our staff will only carry out examinations if they are satisfied that the patient understands and can give informed consent. If an interpreter is present they may be able to double as a chaperone. If an urgent clinical need for an examination is evident, every effort should be made to communicate with the patient by whatever means are available before proceeding with the examination.
6) Examinations on children: Children are expected to be accompanied by a parent or adult relative to whom the need for the examination will be explained and consent obtained. They will be expected to remain with the child during the examination, so a further chaperone will not normally be necessary.
7) Teenagers aged 13 and upwards: Those of this age can consent to examinations provided the GP is sure that they have sufficient competence to understand the nature and purpose of the examination.
Who can be a chaperone?
- Health Care Assistants
- Our Reception Team (non-clinical chaperones)
We will do our best to provide a clinical member of staff in the first instance if this is not possible you have the option to postpone the examination or have a non clinical member of staff chaperone. Sometimes the patient’s friend or relative may be appropriate.
What does the chaperone do?
- The chaperone will enter the room discreetly & remain until the examination has finished.
- The chaperone will be required to attend inside the curtain & stand at the head of the examination couch for the period of the examination.
- The chaperone will not enter into conversation with anyone unless requested to do so.
- The chaperone will record in the patient’s notes after the examination that they were present & state if any problems or incidents occurred.