Court of Protection Visitors

The following Private Client practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Court of Protection Visitors
  • Appointment and qualifications
  • Functions
  • Assurance visits
  • Powers
  • Procedure for a visit
  • Reports

Court of Protection Visitors

The role of the Court of Protection Visitor is a long-standing one, which operated under the jurisdiction of the Mental Health Act 1983 in the form of the 'Lord Chancellor's Visitors' and is also recognised by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005).

A Court of Protection Visitor is defined in the MCA 2005 Code of Practice as:

'Someone who is appointed to report to the Court of Protection on how attorneys or deputies are carrying out their duties.'

Court of Protection Visitors have also been described as 'the eyes and ears of the court'. Court of Protection Visitors play a particularly important role where there are no relatives or friends who can act as a deputy or report problems to the court.

Appointment and qualifications

Court of Protection Visitors are not officers of the court although they are appointed by the court. MCA 2005, s 61 provides for two categories of Court of Protection Visitor:

  1. A Special Visitor, who must be a qualified medical practitioner or be otherwise suitably qualified or trained to fulfil the function. Special Visitors must also have special knowledge of and experience in cases of impairment of or disturbance in the functioning of the mind or brain.

  2. A General Visitor, who needs no medical qualifications.

Most visits are carried out by General Visitors although the court might instruct a Special Visitor to

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