The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

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Chaperoning

You have a duty to respect the dignity and sensibilities of your patients, as well as having your own right to work in a safe environment. By its very nature, physiotherapy is a ‘touching’ profession often with patients in a state of undress.

It is important that appropriate standards of professional behaviour are provided at all times, in order to ensure that your patients feel comfortable during treatment, and that you are able to perform a thorough and appropriate examination and assessment.

It is important that you understand when a chaperone may be required even if your patient does not request one, as well as the roles and responsibilities of chaperones.

You must also be clear on the importance of your patients fully understanding the nature and purpose of physiotherapy, as well as what is planned during treatment.

Complaints from patients about ‘inappropriate touching’ are distressing and in many cases may be avoided by considering using a chaperone.

If a patient makes a complaint to the police about alleged ‘inappropriate touching’ or examination during physiotherapy, this is dealt with under the criminal law. Defence of criminal allegations is not covered by the main CSP PLI scheme and you may want additional ‘criminal defence insurance’ which is available from Graybrooks.

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