Chaperone Policy for Children

 

 

In the case of children a Chaperone would normally be a parent or carer or alternatively someone known and trusted or chosen by the child. Patients may be accompanied by another minor of the same age. For competent young adults the guidance relating to adults is applicable.

 

Children and their parents or guardians must receive an appropriate explanation of the procedure in order to obtain their co-operation and understanding. If a minor presents in the absence of a parent or guardian the

healthcare professional must ascertain if they are capable of understanding the need for examination. In these cases it would be advisable for consent to be secured and a formal chaperone to be present for any intimate

examinations.

 

The age of Consent is 16 years, but young people have the right to confidential advice on contraception, pregnancy and abortion and it has been made clear that the law is not intended to prosecute mutually agreed sexual

activity between young people of a similar age, unless it involves abuse or exploitation. However, the younger the person, the greater the concern about abuse or exploitation. Children under 13 years old are considered of

insufficient age to consent to sexual activity, and the Sexual Offences Act 2003 makes clear that sexual activity with a child under 13 is always an offence.

 

In situations where abuse is suspected great care and sensitivity must be used to explain the reasons for, and nature of, the examination/procedure and ensure the patient’s comfort and dignity.  In these situations healthcare professionals should consider if the patient may require referral for the examination/procedure to be carried out by the local child protection specialist practitioners in specialist facilities.  The Practice will refer to, and be guided by, local Child/Vulnerable Patient policies and seek advice from the Child Protection Lead/Team as necessary.