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  Patient chaperones 14 September 2004  
Will their presence during intimate examinations help prevent abuse?

An independent enquiry into why disgraced GP Clifford Ayling was able to continue practising despite allegations of sexual assaults spanning nearly 30 years, called last week for the better protection of patients.  

Amongst its recommendations are the greater use of chaperones for clinical examinations and an improvement to the complaints procedure which failed to discover a pattern of abuse despite the complaints of his victims.  

But what are the practical implications of these guidelines?  Who will bear the cost of chaperones? How will they be trained and can any recommendations prevent another Clifford Ayling, who continued to abuse his patients in the presence of a chaperone? 

Jenni discusses the issues with GP, Pauline Brimblecombe and solicitor, Sarah Harman.

Further information from the BBC Actionline: 0800 044 044
Patient sex abuse protection call
General Medical Council
Department of Health
Royal College of General Practitioners

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