17-19 Heaton Road, Byker, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE6 1SA

Telephone: 0191 265 5911

Chaperone Policy

What is a Chaperone for?

A chaperone is provided to protect and safeguard both the patient and the clinician during intimate examinations and or procedures. All patients have a right to request a chaperone during an appointment with a clinical staff member. Please ask the clinician you are seeing or a Care Navigator to arrange this.  Chaperones are always offered for intimate examination. Intimate examination normally means breast, testicular, rectal or vaginal.

Who can act as a chaperone?

A variety of people can act as a chaperone in the practice. Where possible, it is strongly recommended that chaperones should be clinical staff familiar with procedural aspects of personal examination.  Administrative staff trained as chaperones can also be used with patient consent.  These staff will have been DBS checked.  Their training will have included procedural aspects of personal examinations so they can recognise any discrepancies in an examination.  They will be aware where to stand and watch and how to report any concerns should they have them. A relative or a friend are not considered to be an impartial observer so would not be a suitable chaperone.

What does the Chaperone do?

The chaperone will:

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


  • 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 Practice staff understand their responsibility to not divulge confidential information.

General Guidance:

Before conducting an intimate examination, the Clinician should:

  • Explain to the patient why the particular examination is necessary and give the patient the opportunity to ask questions.
  • Explain what the examination will involve, in a way that the patient can understand, so that the patient has a clear idea of what to expect including any pain or discomfort.
  • Get the patient’s permission before the examination and record that the patient has given it.
  • Offer the patient a chaperone.
  • Give the patient privacy to undress and dress and keep them covered as much as possible to maintain their dignity.If dealing with a child or young person:
  • Assess their capacity to consent to the examination.
  • If they lack the capacity to consent, seek parental consent.

During the examination, the Clinician should:

  • Explain what they are going to do before they do it, and if this differs from what they previously told the patient, explain why and seek the patient’s permission.
  • Stop the examination if the patient asks them to.
  • Keep discussion relevant and not make unnecessary personal comments.

Date published: 13th February, 2024
Date last updated: 13th February, 2024