Introduction

 

This policy is designed to protect both patients and staff from abuse or allegations of abuse and to assist patients to make an informed choice about their examinations and consultations during Home Visits.

 

PATIENTS

 

It is imperative that all Patients’ are made aware of the fact that they can at any point request the aid of a chaperone within their appointment.

 

As we will be having consultations at home, we will, if a chaperone is needed/requested, aim to provide reasonable provisions for this. An example would be rearranging a consultation with chaperone present in an appropriate time frame or referring to appropriate secondary care, regular GP to have examination/investigation. We will ensure that the chaperone is appropriately trained at being a Chaperone and is fully aware of the responsibility that this role will entail.

 

A chaperone will be offered at all consultations.

 

If a chaperone is not available, the consultation will continue omitting examination and clinical decision will be made with patient safety as a priority.

 

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT /CONSULTANT

 

It is the responsibility of the executive management to highlight the fact that a Chaperone can be made available upon request.

 

It is within the boundaries of an executive management’s professionalism to request a Chaperone should any examinations be required.

 

The Chaperone

 

The chaperone will make a record in the patient’s notes after examination.   The record will state that there were no problems, or give details of any concerns or incidents that occurred. The chaperone must be aware of the procedure to follow if they wish to raise concerns.

 

  • The patient can refuse a chaperone, and if so this must be recorded in the patient’s medical record.

 

Who Can Act as a Chaperone?

 

A variety of people can act as a chaperone in the organisation, but staff undertaking a formal chaperone role must have been trained in the competencies required. Where possible, it is strongly recommended that chaperones should be clinical staff familiar with procedural aspects of personal examination. Where suitable clinical staff members are not available, the examination should be deferred.

 

Where the organisation determines that non-clinical staff will act in this capacity, the patient must agree to the presence of a non-clinician in the examination, and be at ease with this. The staff member should be trained in the procedural aspects of personal examinations, comfortable in acting in the role of chaperone, and be confident in the scope and extent of their role. They will have received instruction on where to stand and what to watch and instructions to that effect will be laid down in writing by the organisation.   

 

Confidentiality

 

  • The chaperone should only be present for the examination itself, and most discussion with the patient should take place while the chaperone is not present.  

 

  • Patients should be reassured that all organisation staff understands their responsibility not to divulge confidential information.

 

Click here to link to the latest GMC guidelines for intimate examinations:

www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethical_guidance/21170.asp