Examinations, Chaperones and Consent

Care of our patients sometimes requires the doctor or nurse or other health professional to carry out intimate examinations or procedures.

An intimate examination or procedure is one involving the breast, genitalia, or rectum. Some people will find the thought of undergoing this type examination distressing. However we want to reassure you that we respect your comfort, dignity and privacy and we will arrange the examination so that these are maintained.


If such an examination or procedure is needed in connection with your care as a patient at this surgery:-

  • where possible we will tell you beforehand
  • we will describe the procedure to you so that you understand what is involved, including if you are likely to experience any pain or discomfort.
  • We will request your consent to the examination or procedure, and record this in your patient notes.
  • We will offer you a chaperone (a number of our surgery team have this role)

The doctor or nurse in charge of the examination or procedure may in any case feel that it is in everyone’s best interests if a chaperone is provided, in which case we will advise you.

During the examination

You will have a private changing room or screened changing area.

If you need assistance with undressing/dressing please ask, this will be provided.

If you requested a chaperone, they will:-

  • meet you before the examination/procedure begins
  • reassure you and make sure you know what is involved
  • assist you with undressing/dressing if you have requested this
  • stay with you and the doctor or nurse conducting the procedure, throughout the procedure
  • help you clarify any queries you may have with the doctor or nurse

If at any time during the procedure you feel uncomfortable or concerned please ask the doctor or nurse to stop and explain things again. It may not always be possible to stop immediately, this will depend on the procedure being undertaken.


  • Consent means you are agreeing to something
  • You have the right to say no to any treatment or procedure
  • Before a doctor or nurse can examine or treat you, they will ask you to give your consent


  • Might be an injection, a minor operation or something else

How do you give consent?

  • You can say you agree
  • You can show you agree
  • You can sign a form if you agree

If you are not sure or don’t understand PLEASE ASK