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Sexual relations 9 & 10 December 2024

Course : Sexual relations, restricting contact with others, the use of social media and the internet: Article 8 and the Mental Capacity Act

Sexual relations  9 & 10 December 2024
Sexual relations  9 & 10 December 2024

Date, Time & Location

Sexual relations 9 & 10 December 2024

via Zoom

About the Event

PART 1:   9 December 2024 10:00 to 13.00

PART 2:  10 December 2024 10.00 to 13:00

Event : Sexual relations, restricting contact with others, the use of social media and the internet: Article 8 and the Mental Capacity Act


This course is designed to enable participants to understand mental capacity in relation to sexual relations, restricting contact with other, the use of social media and the internet. Participants will gain awareness of the relevant case law in relation to mental capacity and best interests decision making. Guidance will be offered on the steps to take where an individual lacks mental 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 mental capacity to decisions around sexual relations, contact, the use of social media and the internet
  • Consider the case law surrounding these decisions
  • Identify how to respond appropriately where a lack of capacity in these areas is confirmed
  • Explore the practical application of case law through case studies


The course will include the following key topics:

  • Legal hierarchy – Law > Code > Policies
  • Consent and the Mental Capacity Act - overview
  • Article 8 ECHR – private and family life and the MCA
  • MCA overview and excluded decisions
  • Court of Protection – overview and practice points
  • Sexual relations – Rights, Protection, Law, Practice
  • Sexual relations - case law principles
  • What does a person need to understand – case law
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003 overview and impact
  • Sexual fetishes – latest case law
  • Sexual relations and contact with others – case law
  • Contact with others – assessment of capacity
  • Restricting contact – recent case law examples
  • Social media and the internet – assessment of capacity
  • Case studies
  • Capacity to marriage and case law
  • Forced Marriage Protection Orders

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.


  • Course Place

    Tax: +£30.00 VAT



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