Chaperone Protocol

This protocol relates to the use of chaperones within General practice, when a patient requires an intimate examination.

The GP or nurse should give an explanation of the procedure involved and the reason for it.

Verbal consent is obtained from the patient prior to all examinations of an intimate nature.

A chaperone should be offered to all patients (male or female)undergoing an intimate examination, irrespective of the gender of the doctor or nurse.

If the patient prefers to be examined without a chaperone, this required should be honoured and recorded in the patient’s notes or computer record.

Patients' dignity, privacy, confidentiality and the doctor/patient/nurse relationship all need to be taken into consideration when the use of a chaperone is considered.

The GP/Nurse is at liberty to ask a chaperone to be present if they feel the situation warrants it. Should the patient refuse, the GP/Nurse can inform the patient that they are unable to perform the examination unless a third person is present.

If an intimate examination/procedure is necessary as part of a home visit, the patient should be offered the choice of having a chaperone present, i.e. a family member or friend.

When patients book and appointment for an intimate examination, the reception staff may inform them that a chaperone may be brought along.