Chaperones

It is the policy of the practice to provide patients with a chaperone during certain examinations and procedures.

If you would like a chaperone to be present during the consultation, please speak to the attending clinician and a chaperone will be made available to you. This chaperone may be a family member or friend. Alternatively, you may prefer a formal chaperone to be present, i.e. a trained member of staff.

Please be aware that this may entail some delay until a suitable person is available and, in some cases, you may need to reschedule your appointment.

Summary

A chaperone is an independent person, appropriately trained, whose role is to independently observe the examination/procedure undertaken by the doctor/health professional to assist the appropriate doctor-patient relationship.

The medical consultation is a challenge to both doctor and patient, whether in the community or in hospital. The need for more detailed discussions with patients, along with their increasing autonomy and right to make choices in relation to their clinical care and treatment, has affected the traditional role of the doctor-patient relationship. This has made maintaining appropriate professional boundaries in the doctor-patient consultation more challenging, however, the guidance from national and regulatory bodies is clear that it is always the health professional’s responsibility to do so.

Chaperones and the role of an accompanying person in the consultation and in the clinical examination is a part of this responsibility to achieve a good standard of medical practice.

Why use a chaperone?

  • Their presence adds a layer of protection for a doctor as well as for the patient, it is very rare for an allegation of assault to be made if a chaperone is present.
  • To acknowledge a patient’s vulnerability and to ensure a patient’s dignity is preserved at all times.
  • May assist the health professional in the examination (for example – may assist with undressing/dressing patients as required
  • Provides emotional comfort and reassurance.

 

For further detailed information see below

Chaperones