This policy sets out guidance for the use of chaperones that should be in place for consultations, examinations and investigations. City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times and the safety of everyone is of paramount importance.
Chaperoning should not be undertaken by any other than chaperone-trained staff: the use of untrained administrative staff is not acceptable, however the patient must have the right to decline any chaperone offered if they so wish.
This policy applies to all healthcare professionals working within City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy. It also covers any non-medical personnel who may be involved in providing care.
In this guidance all staff groups covered will be referred to as the “healthcare professional”. The use of the feminine gender equally implies the male and similarly the use of the male gender equally implies the female.
The policy applies and must be acted upon, but not limited to the following circumstances:
All clinical staff may at some point be asked to act as a chaperone at City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy. Therefore, it is essential that clinical personnel are fully aware of their individual responsibilities when performing chaperone duties.
A chaperone can be defined as ‘an independent person, appropriately trained, whose role is to independently observe the examination/procedure undertaken by the health professional to assist the appropriate provider-patient relationship’.
It may be appropriate to offer a chaperone for a number of reasons. All healthcare professionals should consider using a chaperone for some or all of the consultation and not solely for the purpose of intimate examinations or procedures. This applies whether the healthcare professional is of the same gender as the patient or not.
Before conducting any intimate examination, the healthcare professional should:
There is no common definition of a chaperone and their role varies considerably depending on the needs of the patient, the healthcare professional and the examination of procedure being carried out.
Broadly speaking, their role can be considered in any of the following areas:
A chaperone is present as a safeguard for all parties (patients and practitioners) and is a witness to continuing consent of the procedure; however a chaperone cannot be a guarantee of protection for either the examiner or examinee.
Chaperones should undergo training which enables them to understand:
Training will be undertaken by all staff who may be required to act as a chaperone at City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy.
All patients should be routinely offered a chaperone during any intimate examination. This does not mean that every consultation needs to be interrupted in order to ask if the patient wants a third party present.
If the patient is offered and does not want a chaperone, it is important to record that the offer was made and declined. Patients may decline the offer of a chaperone for a number of reasons (including but not limited to):