Chaperone policy

Should you required a Chaperone to be present at a consultation or procedure, please alert reception staff at the time of booking your appointment (if possible) who can arrange for an appropriate professional member of staff to be available. You can also request a Chaperone during you appointment however if one is not available then your appointment may need to be rescheduled to ensure a Chaperone is available.

Studholme Medical Centre are committed to promoting a practice that values the privacy and dignity of all our patients.

Some health care interactions and treatments, particularly where they involve intimate parts of the body and state of undress, can make patients feel vulnerable or distressed. It is recognised that how care is delivered is vitally important to self-confidence.

The presence of a chaperone may assist in supporting and reassuring the patient during the healthcare interaction.

The healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations in accordance with the practice Chaperone policy.

We believe respect, explanation, consent and privacy are paramount to ensuring you receive a positive patient experience.

What to expect

You should expect to be offered a chaperone for any intimate examinations that are requested as part of your treatment plan. You can request a chaperone is present during any health interaction that you feel uncomfortable with. Expect the role of the chaperone to be clearly explained to you and the person introduced to you by the health professional who is to undertake the health care examination.

Who can be a chaperone?

A member of staff can be a chaperone, this is likely to be a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse or other trained non-clinical staff member. All staff acting as chaperones within the practice have been trained.

Can a family member act as a chaperone?

Your family member cannot act as a formal chaperone. You can however request that a member of your family or a friend be present as an informal chaperone during the examination, procedure. A situation where this may not be appropriate is where a child is asked to act as a chaperone for a parent undergoing an intimate examination.

Can I refuse a chaperone?

You have the right to refuse a particular person as a chaperone; in this instance a member of staff will document the reasons for your refusal and your health interaction will be reviewed.

In all cases where the presence of a chaperone may intrude in a confidential clinician-patient discussion their presence will be confined to the physical examination. One-to-one communication between the patient and their clinician can continue afterwards.

What is the chaperones responsibility?

  • Ensure that conduct is sensitive and respectful of your dignity and confidentiality
  • To reassure you if you are distressed or experiencing discomfort and to communicate this to the member of staff undertaking the procedure
  • Ensure that they can communicate with you in a way that you can understand

What if a chaperone is not available

If in the unlikely event a chaperone cannot be offered because of staff availability then expect to be informed. You may be asked in this instance to delay the interaction unless this is likely to be detrimental to your health.

Date published: 14th December, 2023
Date last updated: 14th December, 2023