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Can a GP carry out intimate examinations?

When we visit our GP we do so knowing that they are highly skilled and will provide us with the best advice to address our illness. We know that in consulting with the GP we can speak them in confidence. We trust them and believe they are using their best endeavours to help us. The Gen medical Council required GPs to be honest and open and act with integrity. Importantly, they should “never abuse your patience trust in you or the public’s trust in the profession”.

This is the standard to which all GPs work although unfortunately there will be occasions when GPs abuse their position, abuse their power and manipulate a patient for their own sexual gratification.

This is what the prosecution alleged in the case of Dr mannish Shah a GP who practised at the morning Medical Centre in Romford. He was convicted in 2018 and again in 2019 on various counts of indecent assault. It was specifically alleged in the 2019 trial that Dr Shah breached guidelines on the use of chaperones during intimate examinations.

The Gen medical Council provide guidance to GPs in respect of this most delicate area of their practice. The general medical Council recognise that intimate examinations can be embarrassing or distressing for patients. Therefore, it is a requirement of the GP that when they examine a patient they should be sensitive to what they may think of as intimate. It is specifically stated that intimate examinations include examinations of breasts, genitalia and rectum, but may also include any examination where it is necessary to touch or even be close to the patient.

The guidance states that before a GP conducts an intimate examination they should:

  • Explain to the patient why an examination is necessary and give the patient an opportunity to ask questions
  • explain what the examination will involve, in a way the patient can understand, so that the patient has a clear idea of what to expect, including any pain or discomfort
  • get the patients permission before the examination and record that the patient has given it
  • offer the patient a chaperone
  • if dealing with a child or young person the GP must assess their capacity to consent to such an examination. If they lack capacity, consent should be sought from their parent. Give the patient privacy to undress and dress, and keep them covered as much as possible to maintain their dignity. The GP is not to help the patient remove clothing unless they have been asked, or whether they have checked with the patient that they require help.

During examination the GP should explain what they going to do, before they do it and, if this is different from what the patient has previously been told, explain why and seek the patients permission. The GP should stop the examination if the patient asks. Any discussion during examination should be kept relevant. Importantly, the GP should not make unnecessary personal comments. You

It was said in the second trial at the Old Bailey that Dr Manish Shah, GP from Romford, who practised at the Mawney Medical Centre breached guidelines on the use of chaperones during intimate examinations

What our Clients have said about what we do

IBB Claims Solicitors have acted for many adults and children across the country, who have been sexually assaulted or sexually abused. We do not reveal their identity but are grateful for many of them who have expressed their gratitude for our support, in enabling them to obtain justice. We listen to our clients and fight for them. This is what some of our clients have had to say.

“My experience with IBB Solicitors was excellent from the first phone call right until the end. They don’t give up. They fight all the way to get you justice. Malcolm Underhill took my case and ran with it…”

“Precise information to me on time and at all times. Really felt they were getting the best result for me”.

“Malcolm Underhill-professional, knowledgeable, and sensitive to my needs during this distressing case. A joy to work with.”

"We will be forever grateful for your kind and sensitive handling of (the) case and I will, of course, have no hesitation in recommending you and IBB to any other unfortunate individual
should we come across them."

“I would recommend IBB Solicitors as they were very clear from the beginning as to the process, timescale and commitment required to obtain a positive outcome. They were also instrumental in providing the platform for me to work through the experiences I had been through by putting me in touch with the right professional persons”

(Malcolm Underhill) “always very considerate, supportive and encouraging from the outset and always had a positive opinion that I could work through this and come out with a more positive mind frame. I truly believe Malcolm had as much interest in my personal well-being as he did in obtaining the compensation fee. Without Malcolm’s consistent support and guidance to me and my parents, I am sure I would not be in the positive position I find myself in today”.

“My experience with IBB solicitors was fantastic, my case was a very sensitive one dating back to my childhood but was dealt with in a way that I could only have wished for”.

IBB solicitors are recommended because of providing “concise and precise information to me on time and at all times. Really felt they were getting the best result for me”.

(Malcolm Underhill) - “professional, knowledgeable and sensitive to my needs during this distressing case. A joy to work with”.

Chambers and Partners also record that Simon Pimlott "communicates effectively and swiftly" and "works in a highly professional and client-focused way," according to commentators.

Contact our specialist sexual assault lawyers today

If you would like to talk to an expert, a medical negligence lawyer, with no obligation, as to whether you or a family member may be entitled to compensation as a result of substandard care, call 0333 123 9099, email or use the enquiry form to request a call back.

We will ask you to provide some brief details and within a few minutes we are likely to be able to tell you if you have prospects of making a successful claim for medical negligence compensation.