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1. Introduction

This policy applies to the imaging and radiotherapy workforce and includes students. It applies equally to all genders of patients, practitioners and students and encompasses all forms of diagnostic imaging, radiotherapy planning and treatment. It has been developed from previous advice published by the Society and College of Radiographers 1, 2 and incorporates guidance published by the General Medical Council3 and Royal College of Radiologists.4It is designed to be used in conjunction with local Trust, Health Board, Independent Provider or other employing authority policies on intimate examinations and the use of chaperones.

These policies should not contain arbitrary exclusions or assumptions on the basis of gender and will provide guidance on respecting individual patient’s preferences such as ethnicity, gender, religious or cultural background, previous experiences or age. They should also provide guidance for students. Local policies often provide detailed considerations with respect to intimate examinations and chaperones that are tailored to suit local circumstances. All policies will need to comply with the Equality Act, 20105 and with Department of Health policies on equality and diversity.6 Many complaints relating to sexual assault arise from misunderstandings. The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has published helpful advice on protecting yourself against a sexual assault allegation and the use of chaperones. Taking these measures will lessen the risk of receiving a complaint. 7, 8

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