Knowledge & Practice Hub

Mental capacity, deprivation of liberty and best interests knowledge and practice hub

Learning points

  • The key steps to follow when assessing capacity or making a best interests decision.
  • Using the Guzzardi test to determine whether a situation amounts to a deprivation of liberty.
  • What case law says about the capacity to consent to sexual relations and marriage.
  • Test your knowledge of the law on mental capacity and deprivation of liberty (only available to organisations with a workforce licence).


elmari bishop 100x100Elmari Bishop is a consultant social worker and lecturer practitioner. Her specialist areas include the Mental Capacity Act (MCA), Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), Mental Health Act, safeguarding and the Human Rights Act, as well as the interface between these areas. Elmari provides consultancy and training around these areas at a regional as well as national level.

She is currently the MCA/DoLS lead for the Mental Health Alliance and also lectures for Bournemouth University on its best interests assessor (BIA) training programme. Elmari is also a member of the MCA/DoLS regional implementation network in the east of England and leads on BIA refresher training in this geographical area. She has many years of experience in the field of adult mental health as a qualified approved mental health practitioner and as the MCA/DoLS lead for a large NHS organisation. Elmari continues to practise as a BIA.

steven-richards 100x100Steven Richards is a Mental Health Act reviewer with the Care Quality Commission, inspecting the care and treatment of people detained under the act. He is also a specialist adviser for the commission in relation to the Mental Capacity Act and a director of Edge Training and Consultancy. Steven 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 people and psychiatric intensive care units and as an advocate represented directly before the Court of Protection. He has co-authored a number of books, wall charts and apps on the Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act.

Other contributors include Javeda Jafri, Rita Panayides, Ed Mitchell, Daniel Baker, Mr and Mrs E, Annabel Lee, Kate Mercer and the Law Society.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, do let us know.