Protecting the privacy and dignity of patients is a key part of our core values. Whether it’s during an outpatient appointment or as an inpatient, you may want to have a chaperone present during an examination or procedure and it’s our policy to do everything we can to facilitate this.
A chaperone may be a friend or family member, or perhaps your care support worker – this is known as an ‘informal chaperone’.
If there is no-one to fulfil this role for you, you can request a member of staff to accompany you – known as a formal chaperone.
In some cases, it’s mandatory for us to provide a formal chaperone. For example, situations involving the care and treatment of ‘adults at risk’ (Care Act 2014) where the patients may be subject to the safeguards associated with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and ‘best interests’ decision-making processes.
If the examination is considered to be ‘intimate’ in nature, a formal chaperone is also required.
The role of the chaperone in these cases is to provide practical assistance with the examination and support the patient, family member/carer, as well as the person examining.
In a clinical emergency, where intervention is urgently required, the need for a chaperone still remains but may be waived if this is deemed to be in your best interests.
Please let us know your preferences, as someone’s understanding and expectations of ‘intimate’ examinations can vary widely according to their background and beliefs.
Our policy specifies that all children under 18 must have an adult with them at appointments, and a chaperone will be present for all examinations. Examination is performed by trained members of staff and will always be explained to you beforehand.
The role of the chaperone is to provide practical assistance with the examination and to provide support to the child, family member/carer, as well as to the person examining. Older children, who are making the transition to adult services, will have a discussion about how this is managed, and the adult chaperone policy explained to them.