What is a chaperone?
A chaperone is an adult who is present during an intimate examination of a patient. A chaperone is there to protect both the patient and the doctor or midwife from allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
Can my partner, relative or friend act as a chaperone?
You can choose to have your partner, relative or friend with you during your examinations. It can be helpful to think about whether you and they will feel comfortable about this. Also, there could be matters that you would prefer to discuss confidentially with your doctor/midwife.
What about my privacy?
The chaperone will have had training about maintaining confidentiality and will also know what is and what is not necessary during this type of examination.
It is our policy to respect the privacy and dignity of our patients. If you would like a chaperone to be present during a physical examination/consultation, or if you would prefer to be examined by a health professional of the same gender as yourself, please let us know and we will do best to comply with your wishes.
What if I do not want a chaperone present?
The presence of a chaperone should only be with the agreement of both the patient and the doctor/midwife. During intimate examination of a patient of the opposite sex to a doctor, a chaperone should always be present.
If the examining clinician feels that a chaperone should be present and the offer of a chaperone is declined by the patient, the clinician may not wish to continue with the examination.
Chaperones and children
If the examination is to be carried out on a child, a chaperone must be always present. This may be a parent or carer, although there may be some circumstances where this is not appropriate. Children cannot be chaperones for adults or be present during the intimate examinations.