All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required. A chaperone is most often a trained member of staff (e.g. a practice nurse)
A chaperone is most commonly required during an intimate physical examination (for example during a breast or genital examination), and are used especially if the patient is of opposite sex to the clinician.
Patients are advised to tell the reception team at the time of booking an appointment if they have a problem where a chaperone may be required, so that arrangements can be made and the appointment is not delayed in any way.
The Healthcare Professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations.
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 being carried out.
The doctor should offer a chaperone if they are to perform an intimate examination, and will usually document in your notes if you have declined the offer of a chaperone.
Please be aware that chaperones are only usually used in the practice building during routine examinations. It is very difficult to provide a chaperone during a house call, or in an emergency if there is not staff available to act as a chaperone. However, if one is needed you can still of course ask.