Key chaperone requirements and the role of a chaperone

The role of the chaperone varies, taking into consideration the needs of the patient and the clinician. A chaperone is present as a safeguard for all parties and is an impartial witness to the examination or procedure. 

Patients must be advised that a family member or friend is not permitted to act as a chaperone, as they are not deemed to be impartial even if they have the requisite training or clinical knowledge. However, they may be present during the procedure/examination if the patient is content with this decision.  

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Chaperones should:

  • Be sensitive and respect the patient’s dignity and confidentiality
  • Be familiar with the procedures involved in a routine intimate examination
  • Be prepared to raise concerns if they are concerned about a clinician’s behaviour or actions
  • Stay for the whole examination and be able to see what the clinician is doing, if practical
  • Reassure the patient if they show signs of distress or discomfort