Updated IMI National Chaperone Guidelines

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  • 2nd January 2020


A chaperone is a person who is present during a procedure as a safeguard for all parties (patient and

Clinical Photographer) and is a witness to the continuing consent of the procedure.

These guidelines are intended to provide practical advice to practicing Clinical Photographers working in a

variety of locations including where the availability of a chaperone may not be possible.

They include standardised guidance in order to:

• Safeguard patients and staff during the Clinical Photography procedure.

• Prevent misinterpretation of action during the Clinical Photography procedure particularly when

there may be a lack of understanding into the cultural backgrounds of patients.

• Provide a guide to good practice.


These guidelines are recommended for all Clinical Photographers working with individual patients in the

photographic studio, clinics, wards, departments, and in the patient’s home. These guidelines also cover

any non-clinical staff who may be involved in the procedure.

In addition to these guidelines, local hospital Consent to Examination policies, the Mental Capacity Act

2005, Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019, Patient Information policies and any additional Professional

Codes of Conduct/Guidelines must also be observed along with any variations in regional legislation.

All medical consultations, examinations and investigations, including clinical photography, are potentially

distressing. Patients can find examinations or photography involving breasts, genitalia, perineum or anus

particularly intrusive (these examinations are collectively referred to as ‘intimate examinations’). Procedures

involving dimmed lights, the need for patients to undress or being touched (e.g. when sticking adhesive

markers next to moles, scars etc.) may make the patient feel vulnerable.


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