What is a Formal Chaperone
In clinical medicine, a formal chaperone is a person who serves as a witness for both patient and clinician to safeguard both parties during a medical examination or procedure.
Why do we need Chaperones?
There are two considerations involved in having a chaperone to assist during intimate examinations protection of the doctor/nurse for allegations of improper conduct.
What is an intimate examination?
Intimate examinations are any examination where it is necessary to touch or be close to a patient.
The rights of the patient
All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel that one is required.
Patients have the right to decline the offer of a chaperone.
Appropriately Trained Chaperone
Appropriately trained Chaperone’s are defined as a member of the Practice Staff who have completed the Practice Training Programme.
The Patient can expect from a Chaperone:
- To be available on request.
- The Chaperone will be pleasant/approachable/professional in manner, able to put the patient at ease.
- Competent and Safe
- Clean and presentable
Where will the Chaperone stand?
Generally, the Chaperone will stand at the patient’s head but in some cases the position of the Chaperone will depend on several factors, for example, the nature of the examination and whether or not the chaperone has to help the clinician with the procedure. The clinician will explain to the patient what the Chaperone will be doing and where they will be in the room.
If a patient has concerns about a Chaperone
Patients should raise any concerns/make any complaints via the Practice usual comments/complaints procedure.
When a Chaperone is unavailable
There may be occasions when a chaperone is unavailable. In such circumstances the doctor will assess the nature of the examination to decide if it is appropriate to go ahead at that time.