Consent and Chaperoning Policy

The practice understands that there are various reasons why a patient may wish to be accompanied during assessment or treatment.

For example:

• For help with interpretation from language difficulties or hearing impairment.
• For moral support from family member, friend or carer.
• Assistance with dressing and undressing.
• Help in remembering details of discussions and exercises.
• Parents needing to bring in children where no childcare is available at the appointment time.
• Adults accompanying child patients – note: children over the age of 4 years may refuse to have parents in the room with them but parent consent to treatment may still be required.

The practice encourages chaperones when the patient themselves requests this and for practical reasons would normally try to restrict this to one person. The practice explains this in the patient information leaflet given to each new patient.

All patients are welcome to be accompanied/have a chaperone during an examination, procedure or treatment. Children (under the age of 16) must be accompanied by an appropriate adult (parent or guardian), where no appropriate adult has accompanied them to the clinic, a member of the clinic staff will be present in the room during the treatment.

A culture of openness between patient and therapist in actively encouraged at all times. Procedures such as manipulation, acupuncture and specific examination techniques require extra care to ensure that the patient understands what they are consenting to. Informed consent is vital and it is good practice for this to be reported in the notes.

Patient permission is obtained in writing prior to examination but examination can be discontinued at any time if the patient requests this.

Patients are encouraged to maintain independence and self-care as far as is practicable, for example undressing themselves. Assistance is only given if it has been clarified that this is required.

Lorna Short
August 2010