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Medical Chaperone

A chaperone can be described as an independent person who serves as a witness for both a person accessing healthcare and a healthcare practitioner. They act as a safeguard for both parties during intimate examinations or procedures where a person may need to undress and consent to care of private areas of their body.

The relationship between a person accessing healthcare and a healthcare practitioner is based on trust. Any person, of any gender, is entitled to a chaperone for any consultation, examination, or intervention if they feel one is required.


 

Why Chaperone?

  • Safeguard patients throughout the consultation, examination, treatment, and care.

  • Ensure vulnerable adult and children’s safety, privacy and dignity is maintained.

  • Provide practical support  and to assist with undressing.

  • Provide practical assistance before, during or after any examination or procedure.

  • Provide help to avoid an unnecessary discomfort, pain, humiliation, or intimidation.

  • Provide emotional comfort and reassurance during vulnerable moments.

  • Act to intervene if any untoward behaviour or action by the practitioner happens.

  • Act as an impartial observer or witness and act as an advocate for the person accessing healthcare.

  • Act to minimise the risk of a healthcare practitioner’s action being misinterpreted.

  • Act to protect the practitioner against unfounded accusation of improper conduct

Intimate examinations:
Intimate examinations include the examination of breasts, genitalia or rectum. Intimate examinations and procedures can be stressful and embarrassing for patients.

Non-Intimate Examinations

Not all examinations are classed as intimate and will most likely not require a chaperone. However, every person accessing healthcare has the right to request a chaperone be present.

 


Basic things to expect during sensitive examinations.

  • Explanation – what the procedure involves, why it is needed, and how it may feel.

  • Privacy – you should NOT have to undress in front of staff, a private place should be offered.

  • Covering – if your body is exposed a Gown, Sheet or a Drape should be offered to you.

  • Stop – You have the right to refuse or STOP an examination any time you feel uncomfortable.

  • Conversation – sexual remarks, hints or jokes about you, your body, or your history should NEVER happen.

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