Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015
Special visitors and general visitors
99. (1) The Director may, in accordance with this section, appoint a person to be a special visitor or general visitor.
(2) A special visitor—
(a) is a registered medical practitioner who has particular knowledge, expertise and experience as respects the capacity of persons, or
(b) is a person who, although not a registered medical practitioner, is, in the opinion of the Director, a person who has particular knowledge, expertise and experience as respects the capacity of persons.
(3) A general visitor is a person who, in the opinion of the Director, is a person who possesses relevant qualifications, or has other relevant expertise or experience, to assist the Director in performing his or her supervisory function referred to in section 95(1)(e).
(4) An appointment of a person as a special visitor or general visitor shall be made subject to such terms and conditions (including those relating to remuneration and allowances) as the Minister for Health, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, may determine.
(5) The Director may direct a special visitor or general visitor to visit—
(a) a decision-making assistant, co-decision-maker, decision-making representative, designated healthcare representative or attorney for a relevant person, or
(b) a relevant person for whom there is a decision-making assistant, co-decision-maker, decision-making representative, designated healthcare representative or attorney, or in respect of whom an order has been made under section 48,
and, subsequent to the visit, to submit to the Director a report on such matters concerning the person visited as the Director may specify in the direction.
(6) Subject to subsections (7) and (8), for the purposes of enabling the Director to perform his or her functions, he or she may direct a special visitor or general visitor to—
(a) at any reasonable time, examine and take copies of any health, personal welfare or financial record held in relation to a relevant person by any person, body or organisation, and
(b) interview a relevant person in private or otherwise than in public.
(7) Subsection (6) shall not entitle the Director to direct a general visitor to examine and take copies of any health record of a relevant person unless the general visitor is a registered medical practitioner.
(8) Prior to taking an action pursuant to paragraph (a) of subsection (6), the special visitor or general visitor, as the case may be, shall seek the consent of the relevant person to the taking of such action, unless the Director dispenses with this requirement where—
(a) there has been a declaration under section 37(1)(b) in respect of the person, or
(b) an enduring power of attorney has been registered in respect of the person.
(9) A special visitor or general visitor shall not—
(a) attempt to obtain information that is not reasonably required for the purposes referred to in subsection (6), or
(b) use such information for a purpose that is not in accordance with this section.
(10) A special visitor or general visitor shall take reasonable steps to ensure that any information obtained pursuant to this section is—
(a) kept secure from unauthorised access, use or disclosure, and
(b) safely disposed of when he or she believes it is no longer required.
(11) The Director shall, on an annual basis, carry out checks to ascertain if special visitors and general visitors are complying with subsections (9) and (10).