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Sexual relations 5 & 6 June 2023

Sexual relations, contraception, marriage and restricting contact: Article 8 and the Mental Capacity Act

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Date, Time & Location

Jun 07, 2023, 7:00 PM – 7:05 PM

via Zoom

About the Event

PART 1: 5 June 2023 10:00 to 13.00

PART 2: 6 June  2023 10.00 to 13:00

Course : Sexual relations, contraception, marriage and restricting contact: Article 8 and the Mental Capacity Act 


This one day course is designed to enable participants to understand mental capacity in these sensitive areas. Participants will gain awareness of the relevant case law in relation to capacity and (where relevant) best interests decision making. Guidance will be offered on the steps to take where an individual lacks capacity to consent in these areas, to ensure that they are adequately safeguarded, and legal obligations are met.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Understand the application of the MCA in relation to issues of private and family life (Art 8).
  • Increase confidence in assessing capacity to consent in sensitive personal areas
  • Identify how to respond appropriately where a lack of capacity in these areas is confirmed


The day will include the following key topics:

  • Consent and the Mental Capacity Act – overview
  • Legal basis for action and case law
  • European Convention on Human Rights – Article 8 – overview
  • MCA overview and excluded decisions
  • How the courts apply domestic legislation and the Human Rights Act
  • Capacity to sexual relations – case law principles
  • Sexual relations – what to understand?
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003 and mental capacity to sexual relations
  • CQC guidance for providers
  • Sexual relations and contact with others – case law examples
  • Contact with others – what to understand?
  • Capacity to marriage
  • Capacity to contraception
  • The limits of DoLS and safeguarding adults – case law and Ombudsman
  • Court of Protection – scope and decisions
  • Case studies – applying learning to practice

The course will be delivered by Steven Richards

Steven Richards is a Director of Edge training and consultancy and has worked in the mental health field for over 20 years. He was a Mental Health Act administrator for many years at the Maudsley Hospital advising clinical staff on their use of the legislation in practice. During this time, he was involved in the publication of the hospital’s guide to the Act, called the Maze. Following this, Steven was an in-patient advocate for Mind working across adult acute and dementia assessment wards. As an advocate he successfully challenged the assessment of mental capacity of a client directly before the Court of Protection.

Steven was a Mental Health Act Reviewer with the Care Quality Commission for over 10 years visiting and reviewing the care and treatment of patients detained under the Act. He also worked with the CQC as a specialist advisor on the Mental Capacity Act and DoLS.

Steven delivers training on both the Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act across England and Wales to health and social care professionals. He has experience of training a wide variety of services including local authorities, CCGs, NHS Trusts, Welsh Health Boards, the police, hospices and prison health services. Steven delivers professional legal update courses for DoLS BIAs and Mental Health Assessors and AMHPs under the Mental Health Act. He has spoken at a series of Health Education England conferences on the use of the MCA at the end of life care. Steven was invited by members of the House of Lords to deliver training on the draft Liberty Protection Safeguards bill prior to detailed debate and amendments in the house. Steven is co-author of 3 books:

Working with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (3rd edition) ISBN: 978-0-9552349-5-8

Working with the Mental Health Act (4th edition) ISBN: 978-0-9931324-1-4

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) Handbook - 2nd edition (ISBN: 978-0-9931324-2-1)

Includes all course materials and a certificate. Course access details will be emailed direct to delegate(s) upon completion of your booking.  If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to email  or call 07341 277487.


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