Debbie has worked in local government for over twenty-five years.  She is employed by a local authority in northwest England and works in adult safeguarding where she is responsible for managing adult safeguarding data, analysis and performance.

Debbie graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1997 with a BA(Hons) in Art and English and a Diploma in Primary Education.  After completing vocational qualifications in adult social care, Debbie returned to Manchester Metropolitan University and completed an MSc in Health and Social Care Management at the Business School in 2011, graduating with Merit.  From 2010-2016 Debbie worked in commissioning services for adults with mental health and learning disabilities and completed the Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply with the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, graduating with Merit.  Debbie completed a Diploma in Leadership and Management with the Institute of Leadership and Management in 2019, graduating with Merit.  In September 2019 Debbie joined the School of Law at Keele University and completed the MA Safeguarding Adults: Law, Policy and Practice in 2021, graduating with Distinction.  Debbie was awarded the SPIRE Barristers prize for the best dissertation.

Research and scholarship

PhD Title: Challenges to Best Interest Assessor Practice: Exploring Professional Understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Project Abstract:

By drawing on a number of relational theories including disability theory and human rights theory, Debbie’s research proposes to explore Best Interest Assessors’ (BIAs) legal understanding across a range of settings and professional backgrounds.  Secondly, it will consider the impact of education and training on legal understanding and practice around application of the MCA among a group of professionals where understanding the MCA is crucial to their roles. Third, in undertaking more extensive research, it will be able to directly influence practice by analysing how well embedded the MCA is by a range of professionals practising as BIAs.

Supervisory Team:

Lead Academic Supervisor:     Dr Laura Pritchard-Jones

Academic Co-Supervisor:         Dr Ezgi Tascioglu

Further information

Debbie is a qualified coach with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and also has a Diploma in Neuro Linguistic Programming.  Debbie is a member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association.

Debbie is the Chair of a registered charity providing local news to people with a visual impairment.


Foss, D. The role of the Mental Health Act 1983 in safeguarding adults at risk of abuse and neglect: A thematic analysis of Safeguarding Adults Reviews”, Journal of Adult Protection (Forthcoming)