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Interface Between Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act Training

Part of BASW's Professional Development & Education Taught Skills Programme


This course examines the impact of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 on practice. It considers how the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act 1983 relate to and interact with one another.

Learning outcomes 

  • Understand the key rules and procedures of the Mental Capacity Act and how this relates to its interaction with the Mental Health Act
  • Explain how their working practices will be affected by using the Mental Capacity Act
  • Illustrate the skills needed to assess which Act is applicable for particular situations
  • Demonstrate practical application of the interaction between the two Acts


  • Mental Capacity Act commentary – Court of Appeal, CQC, Ombudsman
  • MCA and MHA 1983 comparison
  • Using the MCA in mental health services – community, admission, hospital and discharge
  • Use of the MCA in community mental health services
  • Admission to hospital – ECHR case law and AM & SLaM case
  • Assessment of capacity – first steps and overview
  • Understand – what information for admission to hospital
  • Use or weigh – significance in mental health and case law  
  • Best Interests – overview and the checklist
  • Admission to mental health wards – which Act and why? Case law guidance
  • Code of Practice guidance – objecting to treatment or admission (eligibility for DoLS)
  • Conveyance - moving people?
  • Case law summary - MHA and MCA cases of note
  • Deprivation of Liberty – European view onwards
  • Why or when to use DoLS in mental health services – hospital and community
  • Case law – CTO and Conditional Discharge and DoLS
  • LPS – replacing DoLS – what changes?

Trainer Biography

Steven Richards is a Mental Health Act Reviewer with the Care Quality Commission, reviewing the care and treatment of people detained under the Act. He is also used by the CQC as a specialist advisor on the Mental Capacity Act and DoLS during inspections of services. Steven is a Director of Edge training and consultancy and has worked in the mental health field for over 20 years, both for the NHS and voluntary sector. He has been an in-patient advocate for Mind working across adult, older persons and PICU wards and as an advocate represented directly before the Court of Protection.

Steven delivers training on 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 on the MCA including local authorities, CCGs, NHS Trusts, the police and hospices. Steven has spoken at a series of Health Education England conferences on the MCA at the end of life and most recently has been a key note speaker at a number of Safeguarding Adult Board conferences.

Steven is co-author of three books:

  • Working with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 – 3rd edition (ISBN: 978-0-9552349-5-8)
  • Working with the Mental Health Act – 3rd edition (ISBN: 978-0-9552349-4-1)
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) Handbook – 1st edition (ISBN: 978-0-9931324-0-7)

He also co-authors several wall charts on the Acts and an App on the Mental Capacity Act 

Teaching ethos and methods

This course is provided by Edge Training & Consultancy via BASW. All Edge courses focus on the application of law in practice. Teaching methods include slide presentations, case studies, quizzes, other exercises and handouts. The training is interactive allowing participants to ask questions throughout the course.  Case studies are designed to apply learning to practice situations.  Self-evaluation exercises are used so that participants can check their own learning as the day progresses.


Further information