Purpose of a Chaperone
All medical consultations, examinations and investigations are potentially distressing. Patients can find examinations, investigations or photography involving particularly intrusive (these examinations are collectively referred to as “intimate examinations”). Also consultations involving dimmed lights, the need for patients to undress or for intensive periods of being touched may make a patient feel vulnerable.
Chaperoning is the process of having a third person present during such consultations to:
- provide support, both emotional and sometimes physical to the patient.
- to protect the doctor against allegations of improper behaviour during such consultations, and sometimes to provide practical support.
Framlingham medical Practice is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times and the safety of everyone is of paramount importance.
This Chaperone Policy adheres to local and national guidance and policy –i.e.:-‘NCGST Guidance on the role and effective use of chaperones in Primary and Community Care settings’.
The Chaperone Policy is clearly advertised within both surgeries on the practice website and can be read at the Practice upon request. The policy is clearly displayed in all consulting and waiting rooms.
All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they consider one is required.
Patients are advised to ask for a chaperone if required, at the time of booking an appointment, if possible, so that arrangements can be made and the appointment is not delayed in any way. The Healthcare Professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations.
All staff are aware of and have received appropriate information in relation to this Chaperone Policy.
All trained chaperones understand their role and responsibilities and are competent to perform that role.
All staff that carry Chaperone have been DBS checked.
There is no common definition of a chaperone, and their role varies considerably depending on the needs of the patient, the healthcare professional and the examination being carried out.
Their role can be considered in any of the following areas:
- Emotional comfort and reassurance to patients
- Assist in examination (e.g. during IUCD insertion)
- Assist in undressing
- Act as interpreter
- Protection to the healthcare professional against allegations / attack