Do we still need a chaperone for online and video consultations?

17th March 2021

Do we still need a chaperone for online and video consultations?

Do we still need a chaperone for online and video consultations?

An online, video or telephone consultation does not negate the need to offer a chaperone – CQC Mythbuster 15

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of online and video consultations as part of core clinical practice. An online, video or telephone consultation does not negate the need to offer a chaperone. The same principles would apply. The GMC have published guidance on how to provide appropriate patient care in online, video or telephone consultations. The guidance includes appropriate use of photographs and video consultations as part of patient care. The Royal College of Nursing have produced a publication on genital examination in women. It includes some useful information on chaperoning which is applicable regardless of gender.

NHS England have produced some key principles for intimate clinical assessments undertaken remotely in response to COVID-19. They include how to conduct intimate examinations by video and the use of chaperones.

The GMC has published guidance on intimate examinations and chaperones. It provides a framework for all health care professionals. This sets out when and why a patient may need a chaperone and considerations that should be given. It is guidance only and not a mandate. If a GP wishes not to follow this guidance they should risk-assess the situation. They should record their logic or discussion clearly. Even by doing this rather than following the guidance, they will put themselves at risk.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.


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