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Ashford & St Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust is committed to the provision of high quality health care in all aspects of its service to patients, visitors, local community and members of staff. The Trust recognises that clinical consultations, examinations and investigations have the potential to cause some people distress. Sometimes consultations can cause people to feel vulnerable, for example where lights are required to be dimmed, there is close proximity, or where patients need to undress or be touched for intensive periods of time. Many patients find examinations, investigations, inspection or photography involving the rectum, genitalia or breasts particularly intrusive.

The chaperone is a third party to a clinical examination, who aims to provide support and reassurance to the patient, witness the continuing consent to a procedure, and on occasion provide practical help to the clinician. They are able to discourage unfounded allegations of improper behaviour, by acting as a witness to the procedure.

For most patients respect, explanation, consent and privacy take precedence over the need for a chaperone.

The presence of a third party does not negate the need for adequate explanation and courtesy and cannot provide full assurance that the procedure or examination is conducted appropriately.

This policy is therefore intended to offer safeguards to both patients and members of staff during consultation, examination, treatment and care.


Purpose and Aims of Policy

This policy provides guidance to staff both on the role of the chaperone and when the use of chaperones should be considered.


Aims of policy

The key aims of this policy are to establish procedures to :

  • Safeguard male and female patients through consultation, examination, treatment and care
  • Safeguard all healthcare professionals from unfounded accusations, by patients of improper conduct
  • Promote patients’ rights to give or withhold their consent to any intervention
  • Promote the safety, privacy and dignity of patients


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Diane Lashbrook, Associate Director of Nursing
Ratified by: NMAC
Date Ratified: August 2017
Date Issued: September 2017
Review Date: March 2020
Target Audience: All healthcare staff
Contact name: Diane Lashbrook, Associate Director of Nursing